The parents of Joseph Maraachli could be told any day now that they no longer have power of attorney over their son. The London Health Sciences Centre, currently treating baby Joseph with life support, would then undoubtedly remove his breathing tube without his parents’ consent.
The medical opinion was that “ongoing life support and extension of treatment with tracheostomy is not in JM’s best interest given his current condition and ultimate prognosis,” according to the Consent and Capacity Board’s summary of the hearing.
“A tracheotomy would likely provide for a longer period of life, however, in our view would not result in improvement of well-being and could reduce quality of life,” Fraser told the board.
But as the family’s plight hit the media, strangers jumped in with offers of help. One of them was Alex Schadenberg, the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, who helped the couple retain Mark Handelman, a Toronto lawyer who was once a vice-chairman of the Consent and Capacity Board.
Handelman hasn’t ruled out another legal appeal and is still trying to reach a compromise with the London Health Sciences Centre, keeping in mind that the hospital has contacted the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, which could come back with a decision on Joseph’s fate any day.