Brain-dead Canadian woman on life support gives birth to baby boy

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 February, 2014, 9:04pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 February, 2014, 9:04pm


Doctors in Canada have delivered a frail but healthy baby boy from a brain-dead woman kept on life support, the infant's father wrote in a blog post.

Dylan Benson, 32, had been keeping a running online account of his personal tragedy, recording his emotions as he grieved for his wife and prepared for the birth of his son.

Doctors, who had hoped to be able to keep the pregnancy going for 34 weeks, over the weekend delivered the boy via Caesarean section after 28 weeks.

"On Saturday evening, my beautiful and amazing son, Iver Cohen Benson, was born," Benson wrote on Monday.

Benson added that the day after delivering the baby, doctors disconnected the life support equipment that had allowed his wife's body to incubate their unborn son. She died soon after.

Robyn Benson, 32, collapsed in late December when she was 22 weeks pregnant, and was declared brain dead from a blood haemorrhage.

The moving online odyssey was followed by readers around the internet, who donated C$152,000 (HK$1.1 million) for the medical bills.

Benson wrote that his son was doing well despite being several weeks premature, and posted a photo in which he is shown holding the tiny child in the hospital's intensive care ward.

"Iver is healthy and is the cutest and most precious person I have ever met," Benson wrote.

"As to be expected, it will still be a bumpy ride … as he continues to grow."

Amid the joy of his son's birth, the newly widowed Benson wrote that he grieved the loss of his wife.

"I miss Robyn more than words can explain," he said.

"She will live on forever within Iver, and in my heart.

The story follows a controversial case in Texas, where Marlise Munoz, a pregnant brain-dead woman, was removed from life support at her husband's request last month after a lengthy court battle. Her husband said Munoz had told him she did not want to be kept on life support.

The Texas hospital had fought to keep Munoz on life support in a case that sparked fierce debate over the rights of a fetus versus the right to die.

Additional reporting by Reuters