ANN ARBOR, Mich. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The family of a 14-year-old Michigan boy is pleading for their son's life after a hospital announced it will remove him from a ventilator Tuesday afternoon.
The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital declared Bobby Reyes "brain dead" and refused to stay his execution despite his parents' pleas for "more time."
The family was in court on Tuesday at 10 a.m. asking for more time to arrange Bobby's transfer to another medical facility that would treat him.
Bobby Schindler, president of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network and who accompanied the parents to court, told Church Militant the judge dismissed the case, ruling that it has no jurisdiction and that the parents had filed in the wrong court. The judge would not grant Bobby's parents time to file in the correct court.
The power to grant Bobby — and his parents — more time was then asked of the hospital, which denied the request. Tuesday morning, the hospital announced it would end Bobby's life.
Bobby suffered cardiac arrest on Sept. 21 after an asthma attack and was airlifted to the Ann Arbor hospital. Within a week of doctors declaring Bobby brain dead, the parents were told the hospital would pull the plug.
Bobby's family points out that Bobby's condition has improved and that a living person can get better. They just want more time for Bobby to wake up.
A Phoenix, Arizona, hospital had initially stepped up to offer assistance to help save Bobby's life but reneged, claiming it cannot offer the "ongoing" support Bobby needs.
Medical Director for Allegiant Healthcare in Phoenix Dr. Duane Wooten said, "I think what this whole situation was caused by — I'm gonna be frank — is a mother's love for her child."
"We needed a miracle, and we got one," said Bobby's mother at the time, only to find her option collapse.
Schindler said in a press release issued at the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network that he "believes the Reyes case is representative of a very deep problem within the US healthcare system — particularly those issues surrounding the rush to end the life of patients within the confines of hospital corporations, which have a vested financial interest in discontinuing life."
Schindler clarified that Bobby's parents "are simply asking for more time, and doctors are duty-bound to provide all potentially efficacious treatments that might help with the patient's recovery."
"Families enduring the emotional trauma of a life-or-death crisis of a loved one should be able to trust that they will be listened to by doctors and reasonably accommodated when asking for more time before making an irrevocable decision," stated Schindler.
Schindler advocates for the medically vulnerable in honor of Terri Schiavo, his sister, who was Catholic. Schiavo died at the hands of the state in 2005 after a protracted legal struggle, starving to death. Her awareness of what was going on around her was contested by both sides.
Professor of neurology at the Dartmouth Medical School Dr. James Bernatthere maintained that there "may be more going on in terms of patients' self-awareness than we can learn at the bedside."
"Even though we might assume some patients are not aware, I think we should always talk to them, always explain what's going on, always make them comfortable, because maybe they are there, inside, aware of everything," said Bernatthere.
Bobby's hope for a stay in execution is being dashed by a "rush to end the life of patients within the confines of hospital corporations," according to critics of euthanasia and the pro-life movement.
Church Militant reached out to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital for comment before the court's dismissal and after but received no comment.