Baby Joseph: Behind the story
Dear friend of life and family,
It looks like Baby Joseph will finally be able to go home! The same baby who one month ago was to face a hastened early death by being forced off his ventilator against the pleas of his parents.
Earlier this week, little Joseph finally received the tracheotomy that his parents have been requesting for so long. And now the U.S. hospital where he was recently flown says that after spending some time in a special pediatric hospital, Joseph will be able to go home with his parents!
I want to tell you the amazing story of how this all this came about, some of which you are probably haven’t read anywhere else.
It’s incredible to think that just one month ago things looked hopeless. Baby Joseph was scheduled to die sometime soon after February 21 at 10 a.m. when his doctors at the Canadian hospital where he was being kept decided to remove his ventilator against his parents’ wishes.
“Monday at 10 am they will kill my baby,” Moe Maraachli, Joseph’s father, told LifeSiteNews in heartbreaking comments on the Friday before that fateful Monday. “There’s no more humanity. There’s no more chance. I’ve tried everything for him. No more appeals, nothing.”
But everything changed completely when an international firestorm erupted after LifeSiteNews (LSN) ran a wildly popular piece on February 17, announcing the court ruling upholding the doctors’ decision.
Immediately following that article, individuals and families all across Canada leapt into hyper-drive, launching an all-out effort to avert Baby Joseph’s death.
The article, because of our use of ‘death panels’ in the headline, also caught the attention of Fox News in the States, which immediately took up the story as an on-going top feature item, spreading it far and wide.
A person who proved most instrumental from the very beginning was Alex Schadenberg of the Canadian and International Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Alex quickly got in touch with the family and hired and paid for top lawyer Mark Handelman. It was thanks only to Handelman’s last-minute intervention that the hospital stepped back from their decision, and Joseph’s life was saved!
Schadenberg himself explicitly credits LifeSiteNews.com with giving the story the legs it needed to draw massive international attention. Without LSN’s reporting, “the baby Joseph story would not have gone anywhere,” he said.
The anti-euthanasia leader says that our Feb. 17 article “launched the world-wide concern for baby Joseph.” After that, he says, “LifeSiteNews continued to publish daily articles that were accurate and they led the world-wide media in covering the baby Joseph story.”
Indeed, perhaps none of our recent stories illustrates better just what kind of impact LSN can have – literally saving lives – by simply by publishing the truth.
At no point did LSN directly intervene in the case; we’re a news service, not an activist organization. The people who did the real hands-on work were Joseph’s family and the awesome groups such as the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, Priests for Life, the Christian Defense Coalition, and the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network.
But most importantly it was you, the pro-life faithful who prayed, wrote, called, and clamoured about Baby Joseph- it was you that created the overwhelming pressure on the powers that be to get things done.
All we did was publish the facts that no one else was willing to publish. But it was those facts that made all the difference.
The family trusted LSN to help them, and we did what we knew to be the right and good thing to do.
Only at LSN did readers find the original interview with expert and pioneer neonatologist Dr. Paul Byrne, a champion for families fighting for appropriate care, who insisted that Joseph should have had the tracheotomy all along. Dr. Byrne pointed out that in 40 years of neonatology he has “never seen a time to turn off a ventilator.”
“If a baby has a disease process that’s so bad that they’re going to die, then they die on the ventilator anyway,” he said.
The last month has been a complete whirlwind, but at last Baby Joseph is safe in the care of a hospital that is willing to respect the wishes of his parents.
Even though Joseph’s long-term prognosis is poor, this is a major victory. Joseph’s family finally has the peace of knowing that he can die at home, in their arms and surrounded by their loving care.
Indeed, this case has put in place a crucial precedent, one that will give Canadian and U.S. hospitals alike a strong new reason for pause before they take key life and death decisions into their own hands, ignoring the wishes of family members.
At LSN it is our duty to spread the word as quickly as possible to motivate our readers to take a stand when life is threatened, particularly the lives of the most innocent and vulnerable. Experience has shown that difficult or desperate situations can undergo dramatic change, simply because the facts have been made public.
LifeSiteNews.com truly is the information arm of the pro-life and pro-family movements. We know that leaders in these movements, because they so often tell us, absolutely relyon us for the information that we unearth and report every day.
If the Baby Joseph story has shown anything, it’s that promoting the culture of life is a team effort. And you, our supporters, are absolutely necessary members of that team.
We need your support in order to continue to be the leading source of international pro-life and pro-family news! Please make a donation to our Spring Campaign today!
Thank you, and God bless.
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief
P.S. We are extremely grateful for the work that Alex Schadenberg, Fr. Pavone, and other supportive organizations and individuals accomplished throughout this struggle for the rights of Baby Joseph and his parents, and for other families who find themselves in similar situations. And we also thank for you, our readers, who through your response and support have also played a major role in this success.