Alta Fixsler’s parents couldn’t save their daughter even though they did everything they could. The courts even forbade her to die at home.
Two years old Alta Fixsler has died in a hospice.
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The court stated that all possible legal resources were exhausted, and her last battle required court permission for the life-support to be removed at home, not in a hospital or hospice. And that was rejected.
On October 18, one hour after her life-saving treatment was removed, Alta died.
“Sad news, little Alta Fixsler’s life support was turned off this afternoon, and she died at the hospice with her parents by her side,” a family spokesman said in a written statement.
Alta was eight weeks premature when she was born in December 2018. She struggled with brain damage at birth, and the doctors spent 15 minutes rescuing her. After that, Alta was on mechanical ventilation for 24 hours, life-sustaining care at a hospital under the operation of the Manchester University NHS, during which time she grew and developed.
In May 2021, the hospital staff told her parent that she wouldn’t recover from the condition and that she may live two or three years more.
Doctors stated, “[t]he burdens of treatment are going to produce pain and suffering” for Alta and that her “quality of life is severely limited.”
The parents objected, and they wanted to continue the treatment as long as possible. They got experts’ advice that Alta doesn’t suffer much. The NHS Trust fought for the removal of the support.
On May 28, the High Court, Mr. Justice Alistair MacDonald, said that the doctors claimed that the best thing for Alta was to die by the withdrawal that he admitted was “life-sustaining treatment (including artificial ventilation).”
The parents insisted that they won’t decide their children to die because it is against their religion and will. The hospitals in Jerusalem were willing to receive Alta to continue her treatment.
MacDonald stated that no medical benefit could be found in Alta being taken to Israel, she won’t recover. The judge ordered that it was in the child’s “best interests for the treatment that is currently sustaining her precious life now to be withdrawn” on May 28 and instead suggested that “a palliative care regime be implemented,” again insisting that this “is in her best interests.”
The British courts don’t consider the removal of life support from brain-injured people who can’t breathe, eat, or drink without medical assistance to be euthanasia.
The Fixsleers’ subsequently contested the decision at the Court of Appeal on June 23, but MacDonald decision was upheld in a ruling handed down on July 9, where the judges stated they were satisfied from the treatment, rather than receiving full-time care in Israel, was in the child’s best interests.
As the last option to save their daughter, the parents opened a petition, but the court didn’t want to intervene.
“An advisor is representing the Fixsler family, Pinny Kellner, told Israel National News earlier this month that Israel’s government had an opportunity to intervene using specific diplomatic processes to aid the Fixsler family since Alta and her parents were all citizens of that country. Kellner added that, while members of the government could have helped, they seemed to have been “dragging their feet.” Life Site News reported.
After the final decision to pull Alta’s life support in a hospice and not at home, the spokesman said that the family was “distraught at the decision taken by the court to end her life.”
MacDonald stated, a hospice “best accommodates Alta’s welfare need for specialist care at the end of her life under a reliable, safe and sustainable system of high caliber care protected from disruption, while allowing, in so far as possible and consistent with Alta’s best interests, the family and the community to perform the sacred religious obligations of the Orthodox Jewish faith.”
According to their spokesman, the Fixsler family argued in response that “making life-changing decisions on behalf of children ought to be a parental right, and we must open up the debate around this. We call on the government to look at the current legislation and change it.”
This isn’t the first case of this kind in Britain. In the past years, we have seen many tragedies of disabled children whose chance at living was taken from them by the courts.
For example, Evans suffered brain damage and was on life support, and the best for this child was also to remove the ventilator. The judge declared that Evans couldn’t go to Italy, and his ventilator was removed. He could breathe on his own, and four days later, he died.
Gard is another person denied by the British courts for rare mitochondrial diseases. His parents gathered more than $1.5 million to move him to the US for experimental treatment. But, the GOSH where he was treated decided to take the ventilation off against the parent’s wish.