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Order to stop life support for allegedly abused toddler on hold
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Friday, September 14, 2012 3:24PM MDT
Despite an order earlier Friday to take a toddler off of life support – an appeal filed by her parents' lawyers has stayed the judge’s decision.
The earlier decision was handed down Friday as part of an alleged aggravated assault case against a couple involving their twin toddlers – the child at the centre of the decision is being called M, or Baby M – as her identity cannot be released.
In her written statement, Justice June Ross said:
“Even assuming that M’s parents believe their decision is motivated by religious beliefs and love for M, I am left with a concern that their decision may in fact be affected by self-interest…”
Justice Ross went on to say:
“I conclude, and direct that the recommendation of M’s medical team that she be withdrawn from life-sustaining treatment, and provided with palliative care is in M’s best interests, and that this course of treatment should be followed.”
The decision comes after a doctor testified the child suffered profound and irreversible brain injury, as a result of cardiac arrest.
Her medical status and treatment includes her resuscitation after 911 was called on May 25, 2012.
According to doctors, she is deeply comatose, and she completely depends on technology – and her condition has essentially not changed since her admission to hospital.
Doctors said “Baby M” has had three bouts of pneumonia since she was admitted to hospital, and if she is to remain on life support, she must undergo a tracheostomy.
She is not considered brain dead, but it’s believed she is close to it, and physicians believe her current condition is permanent.
After the decision was handed down, lawyers for the parents submitted an application for appeal to try and stay the decision.
Later, the stay was granted – until the appeal is heard next week.
The decision comes after “Baby M” and her twin sister – both two-years-old – were rushed to hospital on May 25, after “Baby M” suffered a life-threatening head injury.
Both of the girls were found to be severely malnourished and underweight – one weighed 6 kilograms (13 lbs.) and the other was just over 7 kilograms (16 lbs.).
As a result of the serious injuries, the Homicide section is investigating.
Two counts each of aggravated assault, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and failing to provide the necessities of life were laid against the parents.
A third child, a young boy was also found in the home, he is in foster care.
With files from David Ewasuk