September 5, 2014
Maine Mom Fights State To Keep Sick Baby Alive

A Maine mom is fighting the state to get a DNR order pertaining to her brain damaged baby girl, Aleah Peaslee, lifted. Virginia Trask, the teen mom, lost custody of the baby to the state, which sought the do not resuscitate order.

Aleah Peaslee, 1-year-old, slipped into in a coma last December. The Maine mom's baby reportedly sustained brain damage after being shaken by her 21-year-old father, Kevin Peaslee. The baby "miraculously emerged" from the coma after being placed in the arms of Virginia Trask, court papers state. At that time, the doctors told the Maine mom that the baby sustained severe brain damage, and the state had signed off on the DNR order.

A legal battle over who has the right to rescind Aleah Peaslee's DNR order, the state of Maine or Virginia Trask has been ongoing since the baby emerged from the coma. A lower court ruled in favor of the Maine Department of Health and Human Development.

Governor Paul LePage stated emphatically during a Fox News interview that he would not permit "state bureaucrats" to usurp parental rights, regardless of the lower court ruling.

"This case is disturbing and is not reflective of my Administration's position that a parent who is the legal guardian of their child should have final say in medical decisions about life-sustaining treatment. The existing law violates the sanctity of parental rights, and I cannot support it. Unless a parent is deemed unfit and parental rights are severed, the state should not override a parent's right to make medical decisions for their own child."
The Maine mom is being supported by a team of legal heavy-weights during her appeal in district court. Attorneys from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and several other related advocacy groups have all filed "friend-of-the-court" briefs. The legal findings maintain that state officials who have been granted temporary custody of Aleah Peaslee, do not have the constitutional right to override parental rights in the Virginia Trask case.
"This case is about fundamental rights: the right to live, and the right to parent," an excerpt from the ADF 25-page legal brief states. "The Maine Constitution places great value on human life, echoing the U.S. Declaration of Independence and a long tradition of U.S. Supreme Court and Maine State court precedent likewise affirms the intrinsic right to parent."
When Aleah Peaslee was 6-months-old Virginia Trask was told by doctors that she was permanently blinded due to the shaking by Kevin Peaslee. The father pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault after being indicted. The baby reportedly suffered multifocal seizures during the shaking. When the Maine mo was told that she was "neurologically devastated" and had no chance of recovery, the parents agreed to a DNR order, according to legal documents. But after the infant emerged from the coma and could breathe on her own, the Maine mom attempted to cancel the do not resuscitate order.

What do you think should happen in the legal battle by the Maine mom to stop the DNR order of Aleah Peaslee?

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