Life Legal attorney Allison Aranda appeared in court yesterday on behalf of Joe Williams,*, the father of two small children who suffered a brain injury that left him disabled. Joe’s sister and parents called Life Legal after other members of Joe’s family had determined to starve and dehydrate him to death. When we were contacted about the case last month, Joe had already been without food for two weeks. We immediately obtained a court order to save Joe’s life by reinstating nutrition and prohibiting the removal of hydration—for now.
During yesterday’s hearing, one of Joe’s siblings testified that Joe can recognize his children and communicates through blinking. Joe’s father testified that even though his son was disabled, Joe would want to spend as much time as possible with his children. We secured the testimony of a phenomenal Catholic physician and ethicist who affirmed the value of Joe’s life and addressed the ethical problems inherent in forcing death through dehydration. He also discussed Joe’s physical condition, noting that Joe can breathe on his own and does not require extraordinary life-sustaining intervention. He does, however, need food and water to survive—as we all do!
An internationally respected neurologist is working with Life Legal and will examine Joe later this week. We are profoundly grateful for these doctors and our affiliate attorneys who are providing critical support to save Joe’s life.
Next Monday, the judge will hear the exam results from our neurologist. On January 17, Life Legal will return to court to present additional evidence in support of keeping Joe alive. At that time, the family members who want to end Joe’s life will testify, as will Joe’s court-appointed attorney.
- For the judge, who will ultimately decide whether Joe lives or dies;
- For the court-appointed attorney, whose testimony will heavily influence the judge’s decision;
- For Life Legal Senior Staff Attorney Allison Aranda and our medical and legal teams who are working tirelessly on Joe’s behalf; and
- For Joe—that he would be restored to full health.
Please join us in a united voice for the vulnerable by making a donation today. We are witnessing a startling influx of cases depriving the disabled of life-sustaining care and we need your help to provide immediate life-saving intervention!