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MONTREAL — Quebec’s Court of Appeal says a Montreal hospital can permanently remove a breathing tube from a child who has been in a coma since June.

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The decision by the province’s high court agrees with a Quebec Superior Court ruling that permitted the Sainte-Justine hospital to go ahead with the procedure despite the parents’ objections.

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The hospital went to court after the parents of the five-year-old boy refused to consent to the procedure unless the hospital was willing to restore the tube should things go wrong.

The Court of Appeal concluded that the lower-court decision respected the rights and best interests of the child and that the parents’ refusal was unjustified.

The boy has been hospitalized since falling into the family pool on June 12, where he remained between 15 and 20 minutes, with evidence presented in court showing he suffered serious and irreversible brain damage.

Doctors have said since June 16 that the breathing tube should be removed because it was doing more harm than good and that the child should receive end-of-life care if the extubation is not successful.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2023.

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