Dr. Paul Byrne is a pediatrician and neonatologist from Toledo who early in his career pioneered the development of ventilators and other medical devices tailored to children born pre-term.
He is also a world renowned expert on, and opponent of, “brain death” for determining actual death, and has spoken and testified in numerous venues including several courts of law and the Vatican. So, Dr Paul is the perfect mix of pediatrician and brain death expert to help us understand two recent situations, including his personal intervention for the parents of Jahi–the 13 year-old California girl who had cardiac arrest during a tonsillectomy and was declared brain dead by hospital staff. But her parents challenged their diagnosis, and with assistance from Dr Byrne, were able to have Jahi transferred to a medical facility that would insert a feeding tube to prevent starvation.
Another current case from Texas has a pregnant woman on life support to save her baby, as required by Texas law. But her husband sued the hospital insisting that life support be withdrawn, thus terminating both the mother and baby. A judge ruled in the husband’s favor. Mother and daughter are now deceased.