Life Legal appeared in federal court yesterday in the case of Fonseca v. Kaiser Permanente on behalf of two-year-old Israel Stinson. Israel’s parents are seeking a preliminary injunction to keep him on life support while they find another hospital that will accept Israel as a transfer patient.
Life Legal Executive Director Alexandra Snyder
with brain death expert Dr. Paul Byrne and
Israel’s parents after Wednesday’s hearing.
Israel has been on a ventilator since April 2 when he suffered an asthma attack while being treated at a Sacramento hospital. He was transferred to Kaiser Medical Center in Roseville on April 12 for treatment. Within 24 hours, doctors told Israel’s parents they would withdraw their son’s life support. Doctors also said that Israel would rapidly deteriorate and that his heart would soon stop beating.
That was one month ago and Israel is still alive!
Israel’s movements in response to his mother’s voice and touch, shown in these videos, are not consistent with brain death.
Life Legal was recently contacted by a neurologist who told us: “Any head movement by a person, whether to verbal stimuli or spontaneously, reveals that there is intact functioning of the brain, and indeed functioning of the cerebrum, and not just the brainstem…. Unlike adults, this child brain has more plasticity which means there is a much better chance of recovery from even the worst brain injury, so attempts to force this child’s family to have him die are truly deplorable.”
NBC Dateline aired a segment about the brain’s amazing capacity for self-repair just a few days ago in which it was noted that “Those first movements can be subtle, but crucial, because they can signal that a patient is getting better. And they may take weeks to appear.”
Israel’s parents are grateful for the work of Life Legal and the Pacific Justice Institute that has given Israel more time to begin to show signs of recovery. “We have been able to keep Israel on life support with the help of our legal team, but it has been a tough battle. We are mentally and physically drained, but spiritually we are stronger than ever because we know that Israel is still very much alive!”
We are currently awaiting the judge’s ruling in the federal court case. Please consider making a donation so we can continue to help families like Israel’s who are denied the care they need to survive.