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Judge rules in case of dying infant

Feb. 21, 2011 at 2:12 PM

LONDON, Ontario, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- A judge says doctors in Ontario can seek consent to remove a dying infant from life support, while the parents want to move the child to a Michigan hospital.

The London, Ontario, judge sided with doctors and a medical board last week and allowed the city's Children's Hospital to begin steps this week that would enable doctors to seek consent to remove a breathing tube from 13-month-old Joseph Maraachli, the Quebec Media Inc. news agency reported Monday.

The parents, who oppose the removal of life-support, have contacted Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, where the baby received care for a month last year, and have asked to transfer him there, QMI reported.

Doctors say the child is in a vegetative state and has no prospects of improvement.

A representative for London Health Sciences Center said doctors there were providing medical material to the Detroit hospital, and that London, Ontario, officials would have to decide whether they could and should transfer the child.

A lawyer for the parents say he hasn't yet decided if he would appeal the judge's ruling to the Ontario high court but says he hopes a transfer makes that unnecessary.

"Everyone hopes Joseph ends up in Michigan," attorney Mark Handelman said.

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