Brain-Dead Boy's Family: Keep Him on Life Support

'He's very much alive,' says mom
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2016 1:02 PM CDT
Brain-Dead Boy's Family: Keep Him on Life Support
Israel Stinson in a screenshot from YouTube.   (YouTube)

Two-year-old Israel Stinson was declared brain-dead in early April after an asthma attack sent him into cardiac arrest. According to California law, he was to be removed from life support soon after. There's just one problem: "He's very much alive," mom Jonee Fonseca tells FOX40. Fonseca and Israel's father, Nate Stinson, are suing Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, claiming that removing Israel's ventilator would violate their beliefs as well as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments, per Courthouse News. "God is telling me not to let go," Fonseca writes on a GoFundMe page seeking $50,000 to transfer Israel to a hospital in New Jersey, which has a religious exemption that allows brain-dead patients like Jahi McMath to remain on ventilators.

"Our hearts go out to this family as they cope with the irreversible brain death of their son," a hospital rep says. But though Israel's heart is still beating, "three different physicians have administered brain death examinations and each found the results to be consistent with brain death," the hospital says in court documents, per the Sacramento Bee. Fonseca and Stinson have submitted a declaration from a doctor who says their son's condition could improve. Fonseca also says a video shows Israel moving in response to her touch. However, a pediatrician says such movements are actually "involuntary reflexes that come from the spinal cord" and Israel's condition is irreversible. A judge has extended a motion to keep Israel on life support until May 11 while the parties work to reach a settlement. (Scientists are trying to reverse brain death.)

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