Judge denies request to keep 9-year-old on life support

U.S. & World

Houston, Texas (CNN) – A family fighting a hospital to keep their brain-dead child alive was dealt a legal blow Wednesday when a judge ruled the hospital will not be forced to keep the girl on a ventilator after Monday. 

Payton Summon, 9, has been on life support at Cook Children’s Medical Center for more than two weeks after going into cardiac arrest. 

A tumor was later found in her chest.

Her parents say she still has a heartbeat and is alive.

Attorneys for the hospital say she’s brain dead, which legally means dead. The argue she should be removed from a ventilator.

A temporary 14-day restraining order issued Oct. 1 prevented the hospital from doing so.

The goal was to find another facility for Payton to go to during this time.

Cook Children’s attorneys say the hospital contacted 28 facilities to try and initiate a transfer, but they all declined.

In Wednesday’s hearing, testimony was heard on both sides.

But the judge decided she will allow the order to expire.

Laura Copeland, of the Cook Children’s Healthcare System, said there is no treatment that will help Payton at Cook Children’s or any other facility.

“It was our hope today that the court would make a determination that would give this family some closure. Unfortunately, that did not happen and we remain in legal limbo.”

“On Monday the Temporary Restraining Order expires. What does that mean in relation to what the hospital will do with Payton? We’re not quite sure. We’re going to have some other discussions with all parties involved and we hope to try and continue to resolve this matter,” Attorney Paul Stafford said.

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