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Archive for Saturday, May 20, 2006

Boy to be removed from life support

May 20, 2006

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— A 14-year-old boy who had been at the center of a legal battle was removed from life support Friday after his family agreed, a family spokeswoman said.

Octavia Southall, a minister who served as a spokeswoman for the family of Michael J. Todd, said the family agreed to have the boy removed from life support after an examination by an independent neurosurgeon confirmed he was brain dead.

"They're at peace with the decision. They're not fighting it," Southall said.

Michael's family had earlier received a temporary restraining order to stop the University of Kansas Hospital from disconnecting the boy. His mother, Cecilia B. Cole, had said she wanted a second opinion to confirm the Kansas doctor's diagnosis before she made that decision.

Cole claimed her son had showed signs of life by responding to touch, shedding tears, trying to open his right eye and attempting to grip the hands of those holding his hands. Southall said that no longer was happening Friday.

Michael was shot May 9 in the Kansas City suburb of Blue Springs, Mo. A witness told police that a 9 mm rifle might have gone off accidentally.

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