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Boy at Center of Legal Dispute Dies


The 12-year-old Orthodox Jewish boy at the center of a legal dispute over what constitutes the end of life has died.

Motl Brody’s heart stopped beating Saturday, 11 days after doctors at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington had declared the New York boy legally dead because his brain activity had ceased. Motl’s parents had sued to keep their son, who is suffering from brain cancer, on life-support equipment, arguing that Jewish law does not define someone without brain activity as dead.

A District of Columbia Superior Cout hearing had been held early last week, and another scheduled for this week had been postponed at the request of the Brody family and the hospital.

The hospital had said in court filings that “scarce resources are being used for the preservation of a dead body” and treating him was “offensive to good medical ethics.”

“In the end, nature took its course before the judicial system ran its course,” Brody family attorney Jeffrey Zuckerman told the Washington Post.

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