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A hug is duct tape for the soul.

Warning: this is a tragic story. But it does raise questions that might eventually affect the legal rights of mentally incapacitated individuals.
(CNN) -- Abbie Dorn always wanted children, and in June 2006 she got her wish -- triplets. But during a difficult birth she suffered severe brain damage that took away her chance to raise them.

Now, her parents and former husband are locked in a legal battle over whether Dorn is capable of interacting with her children, and whether they should visit her.

Abbie and Dan Dorn, both devout Orthodox Jews, were in their early 20s when they met in Atlanta, Georgia, and embarked on a whirlwind romance. They married in August 2002 after dating for six months. Dan Dorn took a job with his father in Los Angeles, and his wife moved to Southern California with him.

Three years later, in the fall of 2005, Abbie became pregnant.

"They were very much in love," recalled her mother. But what happened to Abbie when her triplets were born would tear the young family apart.

According to her parents and their lawyers, during the delivery Abbie began bleeding severely and went into cardiac arrest, which deprived her brain of oxygen. Medical personnel were not able to resuscitate her for nearly 20 minutes, according to the Cohens (Abbie's parents) and their lawyers.
Abbie's parents took over her care while Dan took the triplets and began raising them in California. One year after their birth, Dan contacted Abbie's parents to tell them he was ready to move on and wanted a divorce. The Cohens filed for divorce on Abbie's behalf, and in 2008 the divorce was finalized.

What happened next isn't very pretty. The Cohens and Dan can't agree on whether Abbie is making progress. Dan believes that she remains in a vegetative state while her parents contend that she has made dramatic progress since 2008. Whatever the truth, what's at stake is whether she has the right to have visits from her children. Dan doesn't want the children to see their mother; the Cohens believe she has a right to a relationship with them, whatever that relationship might be.

Complicating this case further is the fact that Dan has sued Abbie's estate for child support. (The estate received a medical malpractice settlement of $7.8 million which pays for Abbie's care.) This seemed to be the last straw for a lot of people commenting on the news story. Let me just say that they were not lobbying to form a fan club for Dan Dorn.

What do our readers think? Read the whole story here, and then let us know. Or, if you want to read even more about Abbie's situation, the Los Angeles Times ran a lengthy story on April 11th that goes into more detail about what happened and the ongoing court arguments.

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