A baby girl was delivered in critical condition by a brain-dead teenager whose life has depended on a life-support system for two months.
The newborn, delivered seven weeks premature by emergency Caesarean section, was listed in critical condition late Thursday, said Joy Flint, a nursing supervisor at San Bernardino County Medical Center. The infant suffers from a debilitating lung ailment.The 15-year-old mother, Tanya Marie Rivera, will remain on life support until her parents make a decision on whether to cut it off, Flint said.
County authorities had obtained a court order keeping the system on after the parents requested that it be unhooked in March. The Right To Life League of Southern California and Roman Catholic Bishop Philip F. Straling also joined the debate.
The divorced parents, George and Alicia Rivera, last week agreed with medical center officials that the teenage mother should remain alive until her baby was brought to full term.
Tanya Rivera was declared brain dead on March 15 after she was shot in the head. Police say her 16-year-old boyfriend, whom they believe is the child's father, fired the shot.
Charges have not been filed against the juvenile in the case, and his name has not been released although authorites have disclosed that he goes by the street name "Stymie." He reportedly is in jail in Los Angeles for an unrelated murder charge.
An emergency Caesarean operation was necessary because the baby's life was in danger, hospital Director Charles Jervis said. The baby was delivered Thursday morning.
Doctors said the baby is suffering from hyaline membrane disease.