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Baby’s death leads to organ donation dispute

BUFFALO — The death of a baby in New York has led to an unusual legal showdown that forced a judge to decide between an autopsy or organ donation.

In the end, a transplant group hoping to save the 13-month-old’s liver and heart lost.

Authorities in Buffalo say the baby was declared brain-dead Monday and his parents agreed his organs could go to infants in New York City and Chicago.

But county medical examiners were opposed because the death was suspicious and required an autopsy that would destroy the organs.

Upstate New York Transplant Services took the issue to state Supreme Court, where a justice sided with the county.

The death was ruled a homicide Wednesday after the autopsy.

Prosecutors say the unidentified baby’s relatives are under investigation and the priority was preserving evidence.