No hospital takes up priests’ cry

Baby Joseph: Priests for Life has a jet ready to fly the sick boy to any U.S. hospital

 

Kate Dubinski

  The London Free Press
  3/6/2011
 

A jet is standing by, ready to fly Baby Joseph and his parents anywhere in the United States at a moment’s notice to a hospital willing to take the sick baby.

The problem is, despite urgent appeals by numerous organizations, no hospital has stepped forward to help the family.

A group called Priests for Life issued an “urgent appeal” on behalf of the Windsor baby, Joseph Maraachli, who has been in the care of London Health Sciences Centre since October.

“Priests for Life and other pro-life and pro-family organizations have been negotiating with hospitals across the United States for more than a week to have them agree to admit Baby Joseph,” said Rev. Frank Pavone, the national director of the organization.

“For the most part, they have shown compassion, but unfortunately, so far, not one has agreed to take Baby Joseph. The family is asking only to have a simple procedure performed to allow their son to breathe on his own.

“A committee in Canada has declared that efforts on behalf of this boy are futile. The parents are simply asking for a second opinion from an American institution,” said Pavone.

This is just the latest intervention by American groups.

The 13-month-old boy’s parents want doctors to give Joseph a tracheotomy in the belief that they can take him home, as they did eight years ago with their daughter Zina, who had a similar condition. Zina eventually died.

Joseph’s doctor’s oppose the parents’ request because they believe he is in a vegetative state from which he can’t recover.

Most recently, CeCe Heil, an American lawyer, and a D.C. law firm that’s played roles in Christian conservative causes have taken on the Baby Joseph case.

Priests for Life issued a news release Friday saying it has hired a jet to fly the family “anywhere in the U.S. at a moment’s notice.

“We need one hospital with a sophisticated neo-natal unit and the courage to actually agree to take this child. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to explain to the public why it is that not one has committed to do this yet,” Pavone said in the release. “Life is in the balance. It’s time for the American spirit to rise to this occasion and say, ‘Let’s roll!’ ”

Vigils and rallies are planned outside of LHSC at Wellington and Commissioners roads on Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. and Sunday, from 1 to 3 p.m.

A rally to support the Maraachli family has been scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m., but the location hasn’t been announced yet.

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