13-month-old Joseph Maraachli was flown from Ontario, Canada to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, MO thanks to Fr. Frank Pavone and the group Priests for Life.
“Priests for Life staff toiled through the night for many nights, working in concert with dozens of people to make this possible,” Father Pavone said in a statement, calling the transfer a “rescue.”
“Now that we have won the battle against the medical bureaucracy in Canada, the real work of saving Baby Joseph can begin.”
Young Joseph’s parents had been fighting to have doctors insert a tracheotomy before discharging him with a terminally ill brain disease. Doctors refused, saying the procedure would not significantly improve Joseph’s chances of living. Joseph is currently on a respirator, and doctors originally wanted to remove the boy’s breathing tube at the hospital, while his parents wanted the boy sent home with the tracheotomy so he can die at home. A judge in Canada sided with the hospital. However, the hospital eventually agreed to have the boy’s tube removed at home, but it refused to perform a tracheotomy. That didn’t satisfy the parents, who wanted a second opinion.*
“The medical board overseeing his case is apparently convinced that giving proper care to ‘Baby Joseph’ is futile,” the website reads, according to Foxnews.com. “They don’t mean that the medical care won’t help him. They mean his life in its current condition isn’t worth the trouble.”
Jay Sekulow from the American Center for Law and Justice, which was retained by Joseph’s parents in their fight against the Canadian hospital, was overjoyed at the day’s developments.
“We’re extremely pleased that this hospital [in Missouri] — a leader in healthcare for children — has stepped forward to care for ‘Baby Joseph’ at such a critical time,” he said in a statement. “In representing the family’s interests in the U.S., we were able to assist in a number of vital areas – including assisting in the facilitation of the transfer of ‘Baby Joseph’ to the Missouri hospital as well as working to ensure there were no legal impediments in the transfer process. We’re delighted with the outcome of this complex effort which clears the way for the family to get the care and medical attention they need and deserve.”
Canada currently uses a form of socialized medicine called single-payer health care.
You can see more pictures from the transfer here.
*This paragraph has been updated to clarify some details.