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Judge Rules In Favor Of Organ Donation In Possible Shaken Baby Case

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A 2-year-old Clearfield County girl is being called simply, "Baby Sophia."

This past weekend she was taken to Children's Hospital with suspected shaken baby syndrome; although, no charges have been filed against anyone.

The toddler was declared brain dead; and according to the Clearfield County District Attorney William Shaw, the child's father, Cody Lauder, authorized papers to donate the child's organs to the Center for Organ Recovery & Education, or CORE.

It's a move the district attorney opposed, saying the toddler's father could be a potential suspect should there be a criminal case.

This prompted a legal firestorm and an emergency telephone hearing between the Clearfield County district attorney, the attorney for CORE, Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Robert Colville and the Allegheny County Medical Examiner, Dr. Karl Williams.

Dr. Williams told KDKA's Brenda Waters that should a criminal case come up, all needed evidence has been preserved.

"Tissue has been taken from the brain, the spinal cord and the eyes," he said.

Dr. Williams went on to say that evidence needed to prove or disprove that the child was shaken to death would be in those areas not in the abdomen where the harvested organs were taken.

Judge Colville ruled, "It is hereby ordered, adjudged and decreed that the petitions attached hereto is granted and organ donation shall proceed."

The organs were transplanted in a 7-year-old girl who was already at Children's Hospital. They were a perfect match.

Meanwhile, the cause of death for the Clearfield County toddler has not been determined, and because of her organs, another child has been saved.

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