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No Recipients for Organs; Baby Taken Off Life Support

February 21, 1988|From Times Wire Services

Doctors at Loma Linda University Medical Center removed a brain-dead baby boy from life-support systems Saturday after a worldwide search failed to find recipients for his organs, a spokeswoman said. She said the decision to remove life support was made because the baby's organs were deteriorating rapidly, especially the liver.

Baby John was born anencephalic--with a brain stem but without the two cerebral hemispheres. He was declared brain-dead Wednesday night but was kept alive on a respirator in hopes of finding recipients for his organs.

Hospital spokeswoman Anita Rockwell said a worldwide search failed to find a recipient for the infant's heart. Four possible liver recipients were also found unsuitable and the organ began deteriorating, she said.

"Out of respect for the brain-dead infant and with the consent of his mother, Dr. Joyce Peabody removed artificial life support from Baby John," Rockwell said. The infant's heart stopped beating at 2:15 p.m.

Also on Saturday, another anencephalic baby was flown to the hospital from Texas to become the second baby in a controversial program that harvests organs for transplants. The infant, Baby Evelyn, was born at 12:15 a.m. at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, the daughter of Airman Aaron Keys and his wife, Judy, said hospital spokesman Robert McNaughton.

He said Keys, 21, of Gastonia, N.C., who is stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, and his wife, 22, of Houston, learned in the 15th week of her 41-week pregnancy their first child would be born anencephalic but decided against an abortion.

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