March 1, 2024

Parents fight to keep brain-damaged Canadian baby on ventilator

Doctors seek to remove Isaiah May

A Canadian baby on a life-supporting
ventilator has become the centre of the latest controversy over futile medical
treatment. Isaiah May, the first child of Isaac and Rebecka, was born in
Alberta on October 24. His umbilical cord had been wrapped around his neck and
his brain was starved of oxygen. Doctors said that he had “irreversible brain
damage.” But, although he is silent and mostly unresponsive, he began to put on
weight and move. “He looks like a normal baby,” says his mother.

However, his doctors felt that continuing
treatment was not in Isaiah’s best interests. They told the young parents that
their child was brain dead and would always need a ventilator. On January 13
they sent the Mays a letter stating that they intended to remove Isaiah from
the ventilator on January 20.

“Your treating
physicians regretfully have come to the conclusion that withdrawal of active
treatment is medically reasonable, ethically responsible and appropriate. We
must put the interests of your son foremost and it is in his best interests to
discontinue mechanical ventilation support,” the letter states.

However, the Mays are determined to fight for the life of their son and
want to exhaust every chance ofsurvival. This week they succeeded in getting an
injunction to delay the removal until February 19. They plan to seek more
medical advice and to have more tests done. ~ Global Edmonton, Jan 27; CNNews, Jan 20

Michael Cook
futile care