Peter Baklinski


Parents sue doctors for declaring 8 year-old ‘dead’ despite life signs

Peter Baklinski

CHICAGO, Illinois, October 25, 2012 ( – Parents have sued Chicago doctors for declaring their disabled son “dead” and then allegedly ignoring signs that he was still alive for almost five hours, despite pleas for further tests from the boy’s parents and relatives. The boy survived the ordeal, but has since been in a coma.

“You didn’t have to be a doctor to see that the heart was pumping blood,” the boy’s father, Pink Dorsey, said at a news conference last week.

The lawsuit filed by the parents on behalf of their son accuses Mercy Hospital and Drs. Stephanie Knodel and Laura Napier of “negligent infliction of emotional distress, and pain and suffering”.

Prior to the ordeal, the boy, Jaylen Dorsey, was bedridden and on a ventilator at home, after trauma suffered early in life. He was brought to the hospital by ambulance last February after his mother found him unresponsive in his bed.

At 9:52 that same morning, Dr. Knodel declared the boy “dead” and said that “further resuscitative efforts would prove to no avail,” the complaint states.

The parents began to make plans for the boy’s funeral.

Relatives, arriving in the hospital to say last ‘goodbyes’, noticed that the boy’s eyes were flickering open and shut and that his body was twitching and showing signs of shallow breathing, court documents state.

“His eyes would pop open,” Sheena Lane, Jaylen’s mother, said at a news conference.

“He was still showing signs of life,” said his father.

However, Lane says doctors told them, “Eventually, it will stop.”

The parents demanded more tests but doctors allegedly did nothing for almost five hours. Finally, at 2:35 that afternoon, an ultrasound of the boy’s heart showed that he was not dead.

The parents are suing the hospital and doctors for $200,000.

“And they should be suing them,” said Alex Schadenberg, executive director of Euthanasia Prevention Coalition to LifeSiteNews. “I give credit to parents who have the strength to stand up against a system that discriminates against people with disabilities.”

Schadenberg called it a “known fact” that the medical profession increasingly treats people with disabilities “differently” then people without.

“Was there something intentional that happened here? Very likely. We need to be concerned about how people with disabilities or with significant cognitive issues are protected because some physicians and some medical institutions will look at that life and judge it to be ‘inferior’ and not worth the effort, time, and cost of saving.” 

The hospital denied the allegations, saying in a statement that the boy was treated for “an extended period of time following all medical protocols in an attempt to resuscitate him.”

“Despite extensive resuscitative efforts, Jaylen did not immediately regain a pulse and no heart activity was noted for several hours.”

“While this is a very rare occurrence, extensive resuscitation efforts, medication and young age can result in a patient’s heart function returning spontaneously.”

“We hope for the continued strength for Jaylen,” the hospital’s statement concluded.

The parents say that doctors failed in a “direct duty” to provide accurate information on the “life status” of their son.

They now fear that their son’s condition has irreversibly worsened on account of doctors removing his respirator after declaring death.

“He doesn’t wake up anymore,” the mother says.

The parents say they are devastated that their boy no longer smiles, opens his eyes or becomes active when a familiar face enters his room, as he used to do.

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