Judge Gives Brain Dead Toddler One Week; Mom Says ‘He’s Still Alive’
A federal judge in California granted a one-week extension for a mother’s request to keep her toddler on life support. The week was given is to allow an appeals court time to weigh in.
U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller in Sacramento ruled in the case of 2-year-old Israel Stinson after two hospitals determined he is brain dead.
Israel suffered a brain injury following an asthma attack that left him without oxygen for 40 minutes. But, Fonesca said over the last few weeks, her son has made improvements.
Mueller rejected mother, Jonee Fonseca’s request for a permanent court order requiring Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Roseville to keep her son on life support to give her ample time to find another facility for him.
But Mueller gave Fonseca a week for attorneys to go to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals early next week.
Fonseca said Israel moved in response to her touch and voice even after he was declared brain dead.
“He’s alive, he’s definitely still alive,” Fonseca told CBS affiliate KOVR.
Now not only is he responding to our touch and our voice, but I’ve seen him take breaths off the ventilator; it’s very hopeful and a good feeling.”
Brain death is the complete and irreversible loss of brain function (including involuntary activity necessary to sustain life). Brain death is one of the two ways of determination of death, according to the Uniform Determination of Death Act of the United States (the other way of determining death being “irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions”). It differs from persistent vegetative state, in which some autonomic functions remain.
An individual with severe cerebral damage who has been in a chronic state of unconsciousness for at least four weeks is considered to be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS).
A neonatologist from Ohio who examined Israel told the news station that he believes the 2-year-old could recover with treatment.
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center’s attorneys say their client’s concern is that because Israel’s condition will not improve, the family is depriving him of the “dignity of death.”
“Our hearts go out to this family as they cope with the irreversible brain death of their son,” the hospital’s chief of staff,…