Friday, May 7, 2010

Baby Jada.

From Thaddeus Pope at Medical Futility Blog:

Summit County, Ohio Probate Judge Bill Spicer recently determined that he has jurisdiction to hear the medical treatment dispute concerning Baby Jada Ruiz. A trial is set for later this month. (Plain Dealer)

5-month-old Jada suffered, apparently as a result of child abuse, fractures as well as brain damage "as severe as it can get without actual death." She is "on life support with . . . no hope of recovery." Jada's father, who has been criminally charged, wants life-sustaining treatment to continue. On the other hand, Jada's mother, Deja, believes that her daughter is already gone and should be allowed to die.

The Plain Dealer says the dispute concerns this question: "What happens when parents don't agree on whether to take their child off life support?" One might be tempted to think the question is actually simpler than that because the father's decision making rights are compromised. Therefore, the mother's decision should be dispositive. But Ohio law apparently supports parental decision-making rights until after a final adjudication terminating parental rights. That has not yet happened to the father.

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