Fox Uses Case Of Canadian Baby To Raise Specter Of Death Panels
On Fox News' America Live, Megyn Kelly highlighted the case of a Canadian couple who Kelly claims has been "ordered to let their 13-month-old boy die." During discussion of the case, guest Wendy Murphy claimed the decision was "a cost issue," when in reality, the baby has no chance of recovery and doctors seek to avoid preforming a procedure that could increase the baby's discomfort and the risk of infection.
Kelly: Parents Ordered "To Consent To The Death Of Their Son"
Kelly Opens Segment By Claiming A "Board That Oversees The Government-Run Health Care System" Ordered Joseph Maraachli's Parents "To Consent To The Death Of Their Son. From America Live:
MEGYN KELLY (host): Well, they have been ordered to let their 13-month-old boy die. Little Joseph Maraachli, on life support, battling a neurological disease. The Canadian hospital that he is in wants to remove his breathing tube, saying that he is in a permanent vegetative state and that he should die in the hospital. A Canadian board that oversees the government-run health care system there has just agreed with the hospital and has ordered this child's parents -- ordered them -- to consent to the death of their son. [Fox News, America Live, 2/22/11]
Doctors Concluded Baby Has No Chance Of Recovery
Canadian Baby's Condition Irreversible, He Remains In A "Persistent Vegetative State." According to the Canadian news agency Postmedia News:
Joseph has been at London's Victoria Hospital since October, suffering from severe and progressively deteriorating neurological problems.
His brain is losing function and he can't breathe on his own or swallow.
After a battery of tests and various examinations, specialists in London concluded that Joseph has no prospect of recovery and is in a persistent vegetative state. [Postmedia News, 2/17/11 ]
Numerous Specialists Concluded That Joseph "Has No Prospect Of Recovery." According to Postmedia News:
One-year-old Joseph Maraachli has been at the Victoria Hospital in London since mid-October, suffering from a "severe and progressively deteriorating neurological state," according to medical reports.
Joseph's brain is losing function, his reflexes and responses to stimulation are abnormal, he can't breathe on his own or swallow. Over the past three months, he has been examined by various specialists, including pediatric neurologists who ordered MRIs and brain scans. The doctors have concluded that Joseph has no prospect of recovery and will only continue to deteriorate. A decision was made to remove Joseph's breathing tube, which is keeping his airway clear of fluids and secretions on which he would otherwise choke. [Postmedia News, 1/28/11 ]
Murphy: Decision "Is Absolutely A Cost Issue"
America Live Guest Murphy: Decision "Is A Cost Issue." From America Live:
MEGYN KELLY (host): Dr. London, do you think that there is something going on here in terms of Canadian health care system, which pays -- you know, they pay for all of the medical care. Do you feel like that's playing any role here?
DR. KATHLEEN LONDON: I can't believe that it would, because again, a tracheostomy is such a simple procedure, and the parents are saying they are going to care for this child at home. So I'm not really sure how this could be a cost issue or anything else. And I'm actually quite confused and wondering what details are we missing, and is there something else?
KELLY: What do you make of it, Wendy?
WENDY MURPHY: Well, look, I think it absolutely is a cost issue because putting in the tracheotomy will allow the child to live longer which costs the hospital that daily cost care. Please --
LONDON: No. They're taking him home.
KELLY: But he could come back.
MURPHY: No, but I understand. But they also then have oversight responsibilities. Whether the child were -- have a tracheotomy and stayed in the hospital or go home, they still have oversight responsibilities, which costs money every single day that that child is alive.
This is what I'm worried about with Obamacare. You know, it's not quite likely to be that bad. We don't really have death panels as people have come to understand that term. But we are going to have government agencies and panels making decisions based on cost, and that's a lot closer to the Canadian model than we've ever seen in this country. So we should be worried. It won't get this bad, but it will come close. [Fox News, America Live, 2/22/11]
Procedure Would Cause Discomfort, Increase Risk Of Infection
Doctors: Procedure Would "Likely Cause Much Discomfort" And "Increase The Risk Of Infection And Pneumonia." According to the Toronto Sun:
The baby's father and mother, Sana Nader, 35, wanted the same treatment for Joseph as was given to their daughter before she died, eight years ago at 18 months -- give Joseph a tracheotomy and ventilation, and allow them to take him home to die what would be a peaceful death.
But Joseph's doctors say while a tracheotomy -- an incision is made in a patient's airway, to help breathing -- may prolong the baby's life, it's futile in this case and would likely cause much discomfort. It would certainly also increase the risk of infection and pneumonia, they argue.
"The medical officials would not want this little boy to suffer," [Superior Court Justice Helen] Rady said. [Toronto Sun, 2/18/11 ]