University of Kansas Hospital leaders are scrambling this afternoon to try to arrange a hearing on a family's restraining order that prohibits them from taking a brain-dead boy off life support.
The family of 14-year-old shooting victim Michael Todd received a temporary restraining order Friday in Wyandotte County. Last week the hospital's staff declared Michael brain dead- which means legally dead under Kansas law - but family members say he's been responding to their touch and has tried to open one eye.
The parties had planned to meet this morning to schedule a hearing on whether the restraining order should be made permanent. But the judge they were going to see called in sick, KU Med spokesman Dennis McCullough said.
A hearing could happen as soon as Wednesday if the parties are able to find a judge whose schedule can accommodate the case.
"We want the child to be declared dead to confirm our diagnosis," McCullough said this afternoon. "We're asking the judge to declare that the declaration of death is the official status of the victim"
Under state law, someone who has sustained "irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem," is dead.
Michael was shot May 9 at a Blue Springs, Mo. apartment in what a witness told police could have been an accidental shooting. Hospital doctors, including a pediatric neurologist, an intensive-care specialist and a neurosurgeon, determined last Wednesday that the boy is brain dead.
But the boy's mother, Cecelia B. Cole says her son has responded to touch, shed tears, tried to open his right eye and tried to grip the hands of those holding his hands.