For Immediate Release
February 28, 2011
LONDON, Ontario - London Health Sciences Centre, (LHSC), is and always has been willing to organize and pay for a medical transfer home to Windsor for Baby Joseph, accompanied by LHSC physicians and staff.
The LHSC position is consistent with the treatment plan approved by Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board as being in the best interests of Baby Joseph. It involves transferring him home, on a breathing machine, and then placing him in the arms of his family before withdrawing the machine.
The transfer would not involve performing a tracheostomy, which is not a palliative procedure. It is an invasive procedure in which a device is installed in a hole cut in the throat. It is frequently indicated for patients who require a long-term breathing machine. This is not, unfortunately, the case with Baby Joseph, because he has a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is fatal.
Baby Joseph has been in the care of LHSC since October 2010 and has a severe and progressively deteriorating neurological condition. He is breathing with the assistance of a machine and receives nourishment via a feeding tube through his abdominal wall.
LHSC’s medical, legal and ethical decisions in this case were made in the best interests of Baby Joseph and are supported by Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board, the lawyer for Baby Joseph appointed by the Board, Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice and other medical experts from outside institutions.
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