Ruling delayed in case of brain-dead boy

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Judge William Jackson of D.C. Superior Court refused to rule Nov. 10 in the case of an Orthodox Jewish boy declared dead whose parents are fighting his removal from life support, the Washington Post reported.

The National Children’s Medical Center in Washington, D.C., is suing for the right to remove 12-year-old Motl Brody from life support. The hospital says the boy, who was diagnosed with a severe form of brain cancer, is brain dead, meeting the legal definition of death in the District of Columbia. Doctors declared the boy dead Nov. 4.

But his parents, Eluzer and Miriam Brody of Brooklyn, are objecting because they say someone whose brain activity has ceased is not considered dead under Jewish law. Brody still has circulatory and respiratory function with mechanical and other assistance, according to the Post.

The hospital says in court filings that “scarce resources are being used for the preservation of a dead body” and treating him is “offensive to good medical ethics.” Doctors had removed Brody from a ventilator and he made no respiratory efforts.

Jackson planned to make a decision after hearing testimony from family members and medical experts Nov. 13. — jta