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2-year-old remains on life support; judge will make decision Friday

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RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond judge has postponed his decision in the case of two-year-old Mirranda Lawson, who is on life support after she choked on a piece of popcorn on May 11.

The Judge ruled he will notify Mirranda's family and VCU Medical Center of the decision Friday by letter or notification.

Mirranda's parents, Patrick and Alison Lawson, from Northern Virginia, have been in the mist of legal battle with the hospital over the right to keep their daughter on life support.

On May 31, a Richmond judge delayed a ruling on the mater calling the situation too sensitive for a quick decision.

In court Thursday, a VCU Medical Center doctor, who treated Mirranda, said the child met the criteria for brain death. Doctors believe Mirranda is past the point of recovery and want to administer a test that would prove she can or cannot support herself.

If the brain test determined she was in fact brain dead, doctors said legally her treatment would have to stop.

Mirranda’s parents believes their daughter needs more time to recover.

A retired doctor from Ohio who was brought in by the family as an expert testified that he doesn’t believe in brain death, so he says there is no reason to test the girl for it.

He said he has experience with cases like Mirranda's and a brain test would damage her body, because they would have to take her off the ventilator for eight to 10 minutes to perform it.

The doctor testified Mirranda should receive thyroid and adrenal hormone medication for treatment.

VCU Medical Center argued the family’s witness is not an expert to testify, as he is retired and is not currently practicing in Virginia. They argued that Dr. Paul Byrne has never performed a brain apnea test.

The family has attempted to transfer Mirranda to other hospitals, but have been denied. They have also been denied by all home care agencies they have contacted.

Now, the family is working to bring Mirranda home and have in home care.

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