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Baby Aiden's Do-Not-Resuscitate Order Is Valid, Judge Rules
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 10, 2004

AKRON, OHIO--A judge ruled Monday that a do-not-resuscitate order for 9-month-old Aiden Stein is valid and is not part of a state Supreme Court challenge the infant's parents have launched.

Summit County Probate Court Judge Bill Spicer had given permission to Aiden's court-appointed guardian to have the baby's life-support system removed so he would die.

Aiden has been in a coma since he was admitted to the hospital on March 15. Doctors have maintained that his symptoms are consistent with Shaken Baby syndrome and that his brain is damaged to the point that he will not be able to breathe on his own without a ventilator. They asked for a guardian to be appointed to represent the child's best interest. They believe the parents have a conflict of interest in keeping Aiden alive because the father could face murder charges if he dies.

The court gave guardianship to Ellen Kaforey who agrees with doctors that Aiden's life support should be shut off.

Aiden's parents, Matthew Stein and Arica Heimlich, both 21, appealed to the state's highest court. They claimed that their parental rights were taken without due process and without "clear and convincing evidence" that they harmed the baby.

Aiden's ventilator was within an hour of being shut off in June when the high court intervened. The Ohio Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the case.

While investigators have suspected that Mr. Stein caused his son's injuries, neither parent has been charged with a crime. Stein has denied hurting his child.

The parents have accused the hospital staff of discriminating against the boy -- marking him as a "hopeless case" -- because of his disabilities.

Aiden was returned to Akron Children's Hospital from a Cleveland-area nursing home two weeks ago to be treated for pneumonia. A hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday the baby was in critical condition.

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