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For Immediate Release:

March 23, 2011

        Statement regarding diagnosis and treatment of Baby Joseph


London, Ontario - London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) can confirm that the diagnosis publicly attached to Baby Joseph Maraachli by the medical team at the faith-based Cardinal Glennon Medical Centre in St. Louis, Missouri is consistent with our findings.

Our clinical assessment and investigation of Baby Joseph indicate that he has a “mitochondrial disorder” with characteristics of Leigh Syndrome (LS); however, other important biochemical, genetic and anatomical abnormalities classically associated with LS are lacking.

All physicians involved in the care of Baby Joseph agree that he suffers from a fatal neurodegenerative disease. The Cardinal Glennon Medical Centre team has confirmed that Baby Joseph has a “progressive neurologic disease” which echoes our opinion that he suffers from “a severe and progressively deteriorating neurological condition”.

As LHSC noted on the day Baby Joseph was transferred to the U.S., under standard medical transfer procedures, and facilitated by LHSC and the St. Louis hospital, the medical judgments made by LHSC physicians remain unchallenged by any credible medical source, and have been supported by paediatric specialists in Ontario, the U.S. and Europe.

While physicians and the ethics programs at both LHSC and the Cardinal Glennon Medical Centre independently considered the parental request for a tracheotomy for Baby Joseph, there are clearly differences in the approach of these centres to the management of end-of-life care in this tragic situation.



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