WALTON COUNTY, GA (WTVM) – The jailed parents of a severely injured Georgia infant have both agreed to remove her from life support following a court order.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jamie and Justin Whited, the parents of Dinah Paige Whited, agreed to take their now 5-month-old daughter off life support as she remains in a vegetative state following injuries related to alleged child abuse.
Neither parent has been tried or convicted on the alleged charged of child abuse, but the jailed parents made the decision during a court appearance on Aug. 3, following a court order by Walton County Juvenile Court Judge David Dickinson. Dickinson issued an order to remove "all life support measures, and to allow Dinah Paige Whited to die," the newspaper reports.
Baby Dinah's parents have been held at the Walton County Jail since their arrests in April, according to jail logs.
Their child will be removed from life support on Aug. 8.
Baby Dinah has been hospitalized and in a vegetative state since she was 7 weeks old. She's been at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston since April, with injuries so severe, she's only being kept alive by machines.
The parents will also be allowed to see Baby Dinah before she is taken off life support, and will watch as the machines keeping their daughter alive are removed. Doctors said Baby Dinah would die shortly thereafter, according to the AJC.
It is alleged that Justin Whited beat his daughter so brutally, that she sustained bleeding of the brain, two broken collar bones and all but three of her ribs were broken. He's being charged with aggravated battery and child cruelty.
Jamie Whited is being charged with child cruelty for allegedly not helping the baby.
The decision to allow Jamie and Justin Whited to make the decision about Dinah's fate has been controversial. Many believe that since the parents have been jailed, they should have no right to decide whether to remove Dinah from life support.
Dickenson even suggested that he would allow the Georgia Supreme Court to decide Dinah's fate after a motion was filed by Dinah's guardian ad litem to remove her from life support because he didn't think he could make a decision on the issue.
A GoFundMe established in Dinah's honor by her maternal grandparents detailed her vegetative condition.
"She has five specialists that have confirmed Dinah has no brain activity at all," the page said. "If she continues to be on life support she will only grow, have a trach, a feeding tube, and the longer she is on life support the more she is acceptable to pneumonia and airborne diseases."
Once taken off life support, Baby Dinah's death could prompt upgraded charges for Jamie Whited. Originally, Baby Dinah's father was initially against taking his daughter off life support and refused to sign do not resuscitate paperwork for his daughter.
Dinah's maternal grandmother told Atlanta news station WSB-TV in May 2016 that she was prepared to say goodbye to Dinah.
"It's not right that she has to suffer," Page Barrett said. "She only deserves to go back to heaven."
The couple has both said they did not abuse their daughter. The couple also has a 2-year-old son together, who is now in DFCS custody.