Legal battle over brain-damaged baby prompts Maine bill

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers are considering changes to the state's policies regarding life-sustaining treatment for minors after a teenage mother sued the state last year to lift a do-not-resuscitate order imposed on her brain-damaged daughter over her objections.

Legislators are examining a bill that would prevent the state from withholding life-sustaining treatment for a child in its custody unless the parent's rights have been officially terminated.

Supporters say that will protect parental sovereignty and clarify a legal grey area that drew national attention when 18-year-old Virginia Trask fought a court-approved do-not-resuscitate order for her daughter in state custody.

Attorney General Janet Mills has raised several concerns about the proposal. She says that the termination process can be lengthy, which may delay a decision for a suffering child.

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