Do Aiden Stein's Parents Have the Right to Keep Him on Life Support?

This is a heart-wrenching case. Anyone who's a parent will find it especially upsetting.

Several months ago, seven month old Aiden of Ohio ended up in the hospital -- shaken baby syndrome, according to all his doctors. He's comatose and said to be brain dead. Doctors believe Aiden's father is the one who shook him (basically) to death while he was alone with him.

If you saw Thursday's “DaySide,” you know I spoke with the father, as well as lawyers on both sides.

Aiden is now in the legal custody of Richland County, Ohio Children's Services -- and his legal guardian has made the decision to take him off life support. In her words, it's to let him die with dignity. (Doctors reportedly say he has no hope whatsoever of recovering or even surviving without a ventilator.)

Aiden's parents want to fight this decision. The dad has not yet been charged with a crime, though there are observers of this case who claim he's fighting the decision to avoid being charged with murder.

The Steins' lawyer is appealing the decision to take Aiden off life support -- but as I write this on Thursday afternoon, no court has intervened to stop what is scheduled for noon ET on Friday: Aiden will be taken off the ventilator.

Please e-mail me your thoughts about this.


Monday, June 07: We All Are Connected to Reagan

Funny how that is. He was the leader of the free world, adored by many, disliked by others. Most of us only knew him through television and never met him -- but I'd be willing to be we all have a Reagan memory in each of our lives.

Mine comes through my Dad. He died a few months ago of pancreatic cancer -- and he adored Ronald Reagan. He kept a jar of jellybeans in the living room and a photo of RWR on the wall. Dad was one of millions of Americans whose hope and optimism for this country was restored when the former president first took office.

Anyway, Dad's birthday was June 5 -- the day Mr. Reagan died. And as I quietly marked my father's birthday this past Saturday, feeling a little blue, a thought suddenly hit me that wiped away my grief. I called my Mom in Ohio and told her.

I said, "Mom, this is perfect."

"What's perfect?" she asked, tears in her voice.

"The president's death. You know what Dad is doing right now? He's up in heaven somewhere, tickled pink that he gets to celebrate his birthday by welcoming Ronald Reagan through the pearly gates."

She laughed, because just then we both had the mental image of my Dad -- freed of his own enfeebled body, skipping to Heaven's front gates to greet his hero.