Life support

Alta Fixsler dies after life support system removed

Alta Fixsler, a H (File)

Alta Fixsler, the brain-damaged two-year-old at the center of a legal battle between her parents and the UK’s National Health Service, died on Monday evening, around 90 minutes after medical staff removed her machines that had guarded it. alive since birth.

A minyan was gathered around Alta in her hospice room, singing songs of hisoreruntil around 6:25 p.m. local time (1:25 a.m. ET), when doctors and nurses entered, and Avraham and Chaya Fixsler embraced their daughter, as hospital staff removed her from life support.

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A minyan gathered in Alta Fixsler’s hospice room in the moments before he was removed from life support.

Alta Fixsler suffered a severe brain injury at birth and was unable to breathe or eat on her own. Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, the hospital system responsible for Alta’s care under the UK’s National Health Service, said there was no potential for his condition to improve, that he there was no medical benefit to continuing to sustain her life, that she was in pain and it would be humane to remove her from life support.

But the Fixsler family, as Orthodox Jews, insisted that Alta be kept alive. The family have undertaken an extensive lobbying and awareness-raising effort, with the US and Israeli governments interceding with the UK government on Alta’s behalf, asking that the girl, whose mother is Israeli and father is Israeli-American, be allowed to leave. in one of these countries for medical treatment. Jewish charities had arranged the transport, and it would cost the British government nothing.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.) personally appealed to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a meeting in Washington last month.

But British courts upheld the hospital’s decision to remove Alta’s life support system, and the political lobbying effort failed. The family even lost a final battle to at least be allowed to take their daughter home to die, when a court ruled earlier this month that the withdrawal of treatment should be done in a children’s hospice.

After being removed from the machines, Alta breathed on her own for approximately 90 minutes, her oxygen levels continuously fluctuating. Shortly before 8 p.m., she breathed her last.

Moments after Alta’s death, Rabbi Moshe Dovid Niederman of UJO Williamsburg, one of askanim who lobbied on behalf of Alta, said HamodiaBaruch Dayan Ha’emes. We mourn the loss of life of precious Alta bas Avraham a Hdear not only to her parents, but to the Jewish community and to all people around the world who value human life.

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Avraham Fixsler stands by his daughter Alta’s bed, shortly before she is taken off life support.

“It is particularly devastating that the UK has rejected appeals from the US. and Israel, two of the UK’s closest allies, that the UK allowed Alta to be sent to one of those countries, which were willing to provide him with care. Why was this chance to live for the child denied?

“Instead of following the Hippocratic oath to ‘do no harm or injustice’ to their patients, doctors today took an action that resulted in the death of their patient.

“This total parody against this helpless, pure and adorable child, will never be forgotten. A country that supposedly does not have the death penalty today enacted a death penalty framed in fancy legalese.

In a statement to Hamodia, Senator Schumer said, “I extend my prayers and support to the Fixsler family during this very difficult time. May Alta’s memory be a blessing. I continue to believe that the policy followed here was wrong on many levels and I regret that our many legally and morally based arguments were not heard by the British authorities.

Seven hundred mourners gathered for the funeral on Monday evening outside the Belz Beis Hamedrash in Manchester.

The Belzer Dayan, Harav Ahron Grinfeld shlitanoted how the whole kehillah gathered for young Alta, a H and her family, and how iconic it was to have her serve as karban tzibbur, like a saint neshama who left this world in purity.

Rav Saadya Grinfeld spoke movingly of Mr. and Mrs. Fixsler, who had accepted Hashem’s decrees without question.

Rabbi Yisroel Goldberg contrasted the devotion of the Fixsler parents with the “values” of a world that considers it merciful to end a child’s life.

Alta’s father then bid farewell to his daughter in an emotional hesitated, telling him that he was doing everything he could, and that as a yid he was doing what a yid should do. He mentioned that a father can never do enough, and maybe there was an avenue they didn’t cover, but nevertheless he tried his best. He begged Alta to plead before the kisei hakavod that Hashem should give strength to his mother and the whole family to carry on.

Kevurah will be in Eretz Yisrael.

Additional reporting by Eliezer Pruim in Manchester and Rabbi Binyomin Zev Karman in New York.

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Updated on Monday, October 18, 2021 at 7:34 p.m.

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