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U.S. hospital agrees to treat dying baby

March 15, 2011 at 5:11 PM

ST. LOUIS, March 15 (UPI) -- A St. Louis hospital has agreed to give a Canadian baby with a fatal condition a few more months of life by performing a tracheotomy.

Joseph Maraachli, now 13 months old, arrived at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center late Monday after being transferred from the London Health Sciences Center in Ontario, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Once the surgery has been done and Joseph is on a portable breathing machine, he will be transferred to a nursing home in Detroit.

A Canadian healthcare panel rejected the tracheotomy on the grounds it would extend Joseph's life by a few months at best, while putting him at risk of infection. Canadian doctors tried to convince the parents to take the baby off his ventilator and feeding tube,

"We are pleased to be able to assist the family in this very challenging time," Dr. Robert Wilmott, chief of pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon, said in a statement Monday.

Priests for Life, an anti-abortion group, is paying for the baby's transportation and hospital care. Several U.S. hospitals turned his parents down.

Joseph has been diagnosed with a severe neurodegenerative disorder. The parents had a daughter who died of the same disorder almost 10 years ago.

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