NEW YORK – A 12-year-old New York boy with brain cancer has died after his family battled a hospital to keep him on a ventilator.
The lawyer for the Orthodox Jewish family says Motl Brody’s bodily functions ceased Saturday. A machine had continued to work his lungs after he was pronounced dead Nov. 4 at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
The boy had already been declared brain dead, but some adherents of Jewish religious law say death occurs only when the heart and lungs stop functioning.
The family had asked a judge to prevent further tests for brain activity. The hospital argued that its “scarce resources” were being used “for the preservation of a deceased body.”
This is an odd twist, in their extreme heartbreak, of treating a machine of medical science as some sort of god. Because no god comes to comfort. No god comes to save the children. No gods come.