State May Let Toddler Die Despite Mom's Pleas

One young mom in Maine is fighting for her baby daughter's life after she miraculously came out of a coma when she was placed in her arms to die. 1-year-old Aleah Peaslee was the victim of an alleged violent shaking attack by her 22-year-old father Kevin Peaslee. The incident took place last December at the apartment he shared with Aleah's 17-year-old mother Virginia Trask.

While the baby lay in a coma, she was placed in state custody, but Trask's parental rights have not been terminated. She agreed to a recommended do-not-resuscitate (DNR) because of her daughter's "neurologically devastated" state, but even after Aleah has shown miraculous improvement, the state isn't letting her overturn it.


No one thought Aleah was going to live, so they took her off the ventilator and placed her in her mother's arms to die. Instead, this little fighter reportedly started breathing on her own and opened her eyes.

The DNR was canceled as Aleah became "alert," but the Maine Department of Health and Human Services obtained authority to reinstate it, citing medical personnel who said she's in a "still-grave condition."

The judge said it was in the baby's "best interest" not to "endure a cascading series of events that would inevitably lead to her death."

How about it being in a child's best interest for the parent to decide whether or not extraordinary measures to be taken to save the life of the child they love and adore?

The extent of Aleah's brain damage is unknown, other than that she is blind and obviously developmentally delayed.

This case has caused such an uproar that even Maine Governor Paul LePage has weighed in on it, and has sided with Trask.

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.

How absolutely heartbreaking all around. The truth is that this once perfectly healthy little girl will probably never fully recover from the damage caused to her, but that doesn't mean her life isn't worth saving.

Do you think the state should have the right to impose a DNR on an infant whose mother doesn't want it?


Image via Weird Beard/Flickr

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