A 12-year-old boy in Corpus Christi, Texas, is facing death this weekend as hospital officials fight to remove him from the ventilator helping him breathe – over the objections of his parents, and despite the fact that another hospital has already agreed to allow a transfer in order to give him lifesaving care.
In a case that echoes last year’s contentious legal battle over the fate of Jahi McMath – a 13-year-old declared legally dead by hospital and government officials despite having a heartbeat – young Joey Cronin’s fate is in the hands of hospital officials who insist that he is “brain dead,” although he showed signs of brain activity during the test they ran in a failed attempt to prove it.
Now, the hospital wants to run additional tests – including a risky ‘apnea test’ that some experts say can actually induce brain death in an otherwise stabilized patient. If the hospital is successful in declaring him “brain dead,” the county will issue a death certificate, and he will be removed from life support. All this, despite the fact that a leading neurologist has examined Joey’s EEGs and said there is still hope for recovery, and a hospital in Houston has agreed to treat him.