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Hearing to determine outcome for teenager declared brain dead

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City, MO – The University of Kansas Hospital declared 14-year old Michael Todd brain dead last week. But, the hospital and family cannot agree on whether the boy should have continued treatment so a judge will decide the outcome in court next week. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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Doctor's declared Michael Todd brain dead last week. But the boy's mother is disputing the diagnosis and got a restraining order to prevent the hospital from following its protocol and removing Todd from a respirator. Hospital attorneys are requesting the order be reversed so treatment can stop because Todd was declared brain dead. Dennis McCulloch, a hospital spokesperson, says without assistant Todd's organs would shut down.

Dennis McCulloch: "What we're talking about when you continue with mechanical respiration is just that. We have a machine that is causing the heart to beat and the lungs to work."

McCulloch says it's been almost a decade since the hospital has been legally challenged on a case like this.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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