Bioethics Blogs

Parent in Brain Death Dispute Indicted for Murder

Juan Alejandro Lopez Rosales had been in jail for six months on abuse charges, awaiting an autopsy for his 2-month-old baby, Issac Lopez, declared dead on July 2, 2014. (Courier-Journal)  Yesterday, Louisville, Kentucky prosecutors indicted Rosales on a murder charge.

Back in July, a court denied the request from Issac’s parents asking the court to order the children’s hospital to continue physiological support after Issac was declared dead by neurological criteria.  I review this case in “Legal Briefing: Brain Death and Total Brain Failure,” The Journal of Clinical Ethics 25, no. 3 (Fall 2014): 245-57.

The Issac Lopez case is not unique.  A significant subset of litigated brain death disputes concern parents who were accused of child abuse that caused the child’s death.  For example, in the New York “Long Island Jewish”case anesthesiologist Malcolm Scoon was convicted.   In the California “Dority” case “both parents were arrested and charged with felony child neglect or child abuse.”

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.