A Windsor, Ont., couple is facing the prospect of watching their terminally ill son die what they say will be a painful death in hospital instead of peacefully at home.
"They want to kill [the] baby," Moe Maraachli said Thursday in an interview from London, Ont., after losing a court fight to stop doctors from taking 13-month-old Joseph off life support.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Helen Rady ordered Moe Maraachli and Sana Nader to comply with the doctors' decision to remove the boy's breathing tube by 10 a.m. Monday.
Maraachli and Nader wanted Joseph, who suffers from a rare, progressive, neurological disease, to undergo a tracheotomy so he could breathe on his own and they could take him home for his final days.
"We [want to] help him die peacefully with mom, dad at home," said Maraachli.
Doctors at the London Health Sciences Centre have refused to perform the procedure on Joseph.
According to Geoff Snow, the couple's lawyer, doctors say the baby is in a vegetative state and the procedure won't treat his condition. But the couple fears their son will die a painful death if the breathing tube is removed.
Maraachli and his wife have been through this heartbreak before.
Their daughter had the same disease and died almost nine years ago at the age of 18 months. She received a tracheotomy and lived at home for six months.
"When she passed away, she was in my arms, peacefully," said Maraachli.
The judge agreed with an earlier decision by Ontario's Consent and Capacity Board.
"What can we do? If I want to fight for my baby and keep him, they'll put me in jail," said Maraachli, who also has a seven-year-old son.
Maraachli said he and his family will spend as much time as possible with Joseph between now and Monday to say their goodbyes.