California 2-year-old Israel Stinson has died after the ventilator keeping him alive was removed this afternoon by medical professionals at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The life-ending move brought an end to a months-long legal battle that had been waged by his family to keep 2-year-old Israel Stinson’s body alive with the aide of machinery; he had been declared brain dead by multiple neurologists in recent months, but the family wasn’t ready to throw in the towel, reports Fox News.
Indeed, the family of California 2-year-old Israel Stinson has been fighting the toddler’s removal from life support since early April. That’s when Israel suffered an asthma attack that wouldn’t quit, which turned into cardiac arrest. The arrest reportedly stopped the heart of the California 2-year-old. Doctors worked tirelessly to revive him, and reportedly were able to restart Israel Stinson’s heart after 40 minutes of frantic effort.
Unfortunately, the extended period without oxygen left the California 2-year-old brain dead. At least according to the doctors at the Northern California hospital that was treating the child. Israel Stinson’s family disagreed, however, not believing that their baby was actually dead. So began their fight to keep him on life support.
The family of Israel Stinson took the California 2-year-old from state to state, even out of the country, searching for a doctor who would give them a diagnosis other than brain death, a doctor that would give them hope. Their battle ended suddenly this weekend, however, after an unexpected ruling by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
Last week, the family of 2-year-old Israel Stinson was granted a restraining order. The restraining order prevented the medical staff at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles from removing the brain dead child’s life support while the family sought yet another neurologist to weigh in on his condition. On Thursday morning, the Superior Court judge heard an appeal from the hospital.
At the appeal hearing, the judge determined that because the case of California 2-year-old Israel Stinson had already been decided (in favor of removing the brain dead child from life support) at the state and federal levels, the restraining order was null and void. The judge immediately dissolved the restraining order that was keeping Israel Stinson hooked up to the life-sustaining ventilator, and it was turned off on Thursday afternoon, just hours after the judgement was rendered.
According to Alexandra Snyder, an attorney for Israel’s mother, the judge’s ruling was unexpected and heartbreaking.
“It was a complete shock. A complete turnaround from last week.”
Stinson's lawyers say the hospital knew of their effort to appeal today's ruling allowing Baby Israel to be taken off life support...@FOX40— Sonseeahray Tonsall (@tonsalltv) August 25, 2016
The family attorney’s shock was echoed by Israel Stinson’s mother, Jonee Fonseca. She has been saying for months that she didn’t believe that her son is brain dead, that she’d seen responses to her touch. She was next to him when he took his last breath, moments after life-sustaining care was withdrawn per the order of several courts and one Los Angeles judge.
Both of Israel Stinson’s parents, Jonee Fonseca and Nathaniel Stinson, have argued that their child was still alive since he was diagnosed as being brain dead months ago, reports the Washington Post.
“Israel’s medical chart … said he was deceased. But Israel is ALIVE! God is telling me not to let go.”
Videos of the California 2-year-old had been posted to social media, apparently showing him “reacting,” at least in the eyes of his parents.
Despite the family’s desperate legal battle, and despite the support of some high-profile pro-life groups, Israel Stinson’s battle is unambiguously over tonight.
However, even though California 2-year-old Israel Stinson is now clinically dead, at least one pro-life organization (who had been representing Israel Stinson and his family pro-bono) has called the removal of the brain dead California 2-year-old from life support “cruel” and even possibly a crime. The Life Legal Defense Foundation’s Alexandra Snyder had this to say.
“In no circumstances ever, ever should somebody be put to death without due process of law.”
Israel’s family apparently believed that California law allowed them to seek out the opinion of an additional neurologist prior to the 2-year-old child’s removal from life support.
Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles is not directly commenting on the death of Israel Stinton due to federal patient privacy laws. However, prior to being removed from life support by order of the court, California 2-year-old Israel Stinton had reportedly been deemed brain dead by three unaffiliated doctors at two different hospitals.
[Image via Jonee Fonseca and Nathaniel Stinson/Life Legal Defense Foundation]