Father may decide fate of son declared brain dead after alleged abuse


by Renee Murphy/WHAS editors


Posted on July 10, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 10 at 7:22 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- A baby's condition is getting worse at Kosair and the father charged with his condition may make the final decision.

The child is not stable and doctors said it could be a matter of days before his heart stops working

Juan Lopez sits at Louisville Metro Corrections on charges of not only abuse, but immigration has also put a hold on him.

Lopez told police his 9-week-old baby hit his head on the bath tub in this home off the Outer Loop. The child is now at Kosair Children's Hospital brain dead with little organ function.

“We are maintaining his innocence at this point and the truth will prevail,” Lopez’s attorney Stephen Buchenberger said. 

Lopez hasn't waived his parental rights, so he still has a say in the baby's care and life support.

“He is maintaining his innocence and his family is behind him on that,” Buchenberger said.  

The attorney for Kosair called an emergency hearing in court today saying the hospital cannot continue extraordinary efforts on the baby who is clinically dead.

 “The child is significantly less stable and at this point he's been brain dead for some time,” the attorney for Kosair said. 

The family of the baby is fighting to do everything possible to keep the baby alive

“The question for the court is where do we stop that do we continue to ramp up all of the extraordinary efforts that are being taken now,” Kosair’s attorney said. 

Judge, Judith McDonald Burkman didn't make a decision Thursday about the infant’s life in part because the father hasn't been involved in the process.

“There is nothing about this situation that anyone can go away feeling good about,” Burkman said. 

He will be now and could be the key factor in deciding what happens next. Lopez is scheduled to be in court on Friday where the issue could be brought up and discussed again.