UPDATED (Friday)- Hospital Asks to End Life Support For NYC Boy

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staroflife.gif(UPDATED IMPORTANT INFO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE) A Washington D.C. hospital is seeking a court order that would allow the hospital to disconnect a 12-year-old Brooklyn boy from a ventilator and end the medications that keep his heart beating.

The Children’s National Medical Center says the boy is brain dead. However, the boy’s parents are Orthodox Jews, and their attorney says the concept of brain death is not recognized by Jewish law. Attorney Jeffrey Zuckerman says the family’s beliefs should be respected.

The boy, Motl Brody, was diagnosed with severe brain cancer and has been at the hospital for six months. Doctors pronounced him dead Tuesday after tests found no brain activity.

In documents filed at D.C. Superior Court, the hospital says its “scarce resources are being used for the preservation of a deceased body.”

UPDATE: Askanim (community activists) working on the case have reached out to YWN and requested that people contact the hospital and demand that they respect the families wishes.

Children’s National Medical Center:
Main Hospital Address:
111 Michigan Ave., N.W
Washington, D.C 20010

tbear@cnmc.org or mshaw@cnmc.org (Subject: DON’T TAKE MOTL BRODY OFF LIFE SUPPORT!)

Volunteer Services: 202-476-2062
Public Relations: 202-476-4500
General Information: 202-476-3000
Advocacy and Community Affairs: 202-476-4930

http://www.childrensnational.org/ContactUs/default.aspx

OPEN PLEA FROM WILLIAMSBURG COMMUNITY ACTIVIST ISAAC ABRAHAM:

The efforts by Children’s National Medical Center, in Washington, to remove a 12-year-old New York boy, Motl Brody, from life support are alarming and frightening.  The parents object on perfectly legitimate religious grounds, and it is unthinkable that a hospital in the nation’s capital can react in such disrespectful and cold-blooded manner. 

Motl was transferred to Children’s National Medical Center from a hospital in New York, where he was receiving treatment.  The only reason for such transfer was the promise of better medical treatment at Children’s National.  If Motl had remained in New York, he and his parents would have been protected by New York’s compassionate law, which respects religious sensitivities in such circumstances.  Having accepted the child with the promise of better treatment, it is utterly unconscionable for Children’s National now to trample on the legal rights to which Motl and his parents would unquestionably have been entitled, had they remained in New York.

Motl and his family are members of a distinguished and noble Rabbinical family,  and members of the Bobover Hasidic community which, for many decades, has been the largest Hassidic community in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn.  The Bobover Rebbe, Rabbi Mordecai D Unger, and the Rabbi of the community, Rabbi Yehoshua Rubin, have expressed, in the strongest possible terms, their support, and the support of the community, for the Brody family, in this most difficult and traumatic time, and have urged, indeed pleaded, that everyone who is able to assist should do so in every possible way.

With the hospital now having taken legal action in court to cease life support, I call on every elected official in Washington and New York to voice their outrage at what is taking place; further, to take all action that is open to them, including the passage of emergency legislation, to prevent what is totally unacceptable in a civilized society.

I also call on all donors and supporters of National Children’s Medical Center to voice their outrage, and to make it known to the hospital’s administration, at the highest possible levels, and in the strongest possible terms, that their actions will have consequences, including forfeiture of support, both financial as well as otherwise.

Isaac Abraham

The following article appeas on the Washington Post website:

The family of a 12-year-old New York boy is entangled in a legal fight with Children’s National Medical Center over whether doctors can cease life support because they believe he is brain-dead.

The dispute involves Motl Brody of Brooklyn, who was diagnosed with a severe form of brain cancer. The boy has been under the care of the Northwest Washington hospital for about six months. His tumor grew progressively worse, and doctors there pronounced him dead Tuesday night after tests showed no signs of brain activity.

His parents, Eluzer and Miriam Brody, are trying to prevent the hospital from taking him off life support because they say their faith does not define death as cessation of brain function alone. The parents, Orthodox Jews, have retained a lawyer who says that the boy’s circulatory and respiratory systems are functioning, although with mechanical and other assistance.

“Under Jewish law and their faith, there is no such thing as brain death,” said the parents’ attorney, Jeffrey Zuckerman. “Their religious beliefs are entitled to respect.”

The hospital has taken the dispute to D.C. Superior Court. In filings, the hospital extended its sympathy to the family but said the boy should no longer be on its equipment, saying that “scarce resources are being used for the preservation of a deceased body.”

Under D.C. law, doctors can declare patients dead if there is no brain activity. The hospital wants a court order, over the parents’ objections, that affirms its plan to disconnect the boy from a ventilator and to discontinue intravenous medications that keep his heart beating.

But Zuckerman says that doing so would infringe upon religious freedom.

The case is awaiting a ruling from Judge William Jackson.

“This child has ceased to exist by every medical definition,” Sophia Smith, one of the boy’s physicians, wrote in court papers, adding that she and her staff members are “distraught at what is providing futile care to the earthly remains of a former life.”

“There is no activity in any portion of his brain, including the brain stem,” she wrote. “Ethically, there is no appropriate treatment except removal of the ventilator and of the drugs.”

A spokeswoman for the hospital, Emily Dammeyer, declined to comment on the case yesterday, citing patient privacy rules.

In court papers, the hospital’s lawyers wrote that doctors have no choice but to stop life support or risk fines and other sanctions. They added that the hospital tried to find other facilities to take the boy but that none would admit him because he is brain-dead.

“Continuing any support to this child eliminates any dignity this child has left,” wrote Kenneth H. Rosenau, an attorney for Children’s. “There is no religious principle at issue in this case, but a clash on the definition of death.”

Motl, a seventh-grader, is the third of seven siblings. His uncle, Yitzchak Halberstam, said the boy began feeling listless about six months ago. He was eventually diagnosed with an aggressive tumor and quickly had surgery. He never regained consciousness, Halberstam said.

Halberstam said Motl was “a special kid.”

“When you looked at him,” he said, “you just wanted to walk over and hug him.”

Zuckerman, the family’s lawyer, said he is challenging the hospital’s plans on grounds that the family’s religious beliefs must be respected under federal law.

Legal experts said that courts usually defer to the judgment of doctors in such cases.

“The case law is clear: Once you are dead, you are dead,” said George Annas, a law professor at Boston University who specializes in health law and bioethics.

Annas added that New York and New Jersey have provisions in their laws or regulations that make exceptions in similar instances for Orthodox Jews. The District does not.

UPDATE FRIDAY 11/07/08: Click HERE and HERE to see are copies of court papers which were filed on Thursday afternoon. Judge Jackson has scheduled a hearing at 10:30AM on Monday, November 10th.

If you have not yet placed a phone call, or emailed the hospital in protest – please take a second of your busy schedules to do so. (YWN has received credible information that the hospital switch-board operators were bombarded with phone calls and emails.)




78 COMMENTS

  1. If in fact the heart is beating only because of mechanical means, then it appears to be a dead body even if the doctors can it twitch electronically. If they turn off the machines and he’s able to keep breathing, then he isn’t dead. But if he is dead, then he should be buried.

    YWN should find some way to ask the rightr questions, as the AP won’t known what to ask.

  2. all who have posted till now on this matter and all future posters on this matter. please keep your commants to youreselves on this matter. as someone who had to make a decision like this and was not able to contact a rov as to what to do in that situation , it is not a happy situation to be in.
    if you want to do something , daven for this boy or mabey put some money in the pushka for this boy , but to just pout youre opinions here will not help the situation.
    call the agudah or the ou to tell them to get there lawyers to do something. that is how you can help the situation here.

  3. H’Shem, H’Shem Kayl Rachum V’channun,

    I imagine one question is: Is he, or is he not a goseis?

    May the Brody family see a yeshua, and be spared from this terrible nisayon.

    Tehillim 23
    Mizmor L’Dovid H’Shem Ro-ee, Lo Echsar. Bin’os Desheh Yarbitzeini, al may menuchos yenahaleini. Nafshi Yeshovev, Yancheini b’ma-aglei tzedek, l’maan shemo. Gam Ki Eileich B’gae Tzalma’ves… lo eera ra Ki Atah Imadi. Shivtecha U’mish-antecha Hayma Y’nachamuni. Ta-aroch L’fanai shulchan neged tzorerai, dishanta b’shemen Roshi, kosi revaya. Ach Tov Vachesed yirdefooni col yemei Chayai. V’shavti B’vais H-Shem L’orech Yamim.

  4. # 3 is right. This is a nightmare that people should never know about. It’s a shaaloh for a Rav, not for us to gossip about. Poor child & his poor family. Hashem Yerachem!

  5. Yosse, #3 you are correct. I wrote my response to #1 and #2 before yours showed up on the screen.

    May we be zoche to hear b’suros Tovos in Klal Yisroel.

  6. To add to YOSSE’s words, keep in mind, without a doubt the family has consulted with Poskim, so it is wrong to question the families insistence in the matter.

  7. #1 As a close family member all i can say to is, just pray you should never exprience such a situation, SHAME ON YOU!!
    As Teshuva you can Say some Tehillim for this young boy מרדכי דוב בן שיינדללרפואה שלימה MORDECHAI DOV BEN SHEINDEL.

  8. I have been told That Rabbi Flam, former Rav of the “White SHul” in Far Rockaway, is an expert on medical issues like these. He is the posek for A T.I.M.E.

  9. I was involved in a very similar situation and can tell you that the brain death standard used by NY doctors and hospitals (aside from being retzichah according to most poskim) is NOT the main problem. The real problem is how doctors have an obseessive bias to rush to declare people “brain dead” based on tests and machines that are inaccurate, unreliable and designed to serve the money-saving agenda of insurance companies. The so-called “poskim” of our time who have advocated “brain death” as the genuine indicator of life had (and unfortunately still have) no idea that their “halachic” position would be hijacked by money-obsessed insurance companies and the doctors whose livelihoods they control with the result that people who are clearly alive are murdered every day in our hospitals under the cruel guise of this concept and the “medical ethics” that have been developed to support and advocatethe “brain death” concept. We can see clearly what the descendants of Esav meant when they refused to accept the Torah because it prohibits “murder.”

  10. Thanks to everyone stopping these comments. Just pray.

    P. S. This has been going on for the past month already.

    Just pray מרדכי דוב בן מרים שיינדל Refuah Shaleima!!

  11. there is no time to waste! i am involved in the case.

    every should click on the “email this article” above the comments, and send it to anyone you can!

     please save a jewish child!

  12. The hospital just wants another bed to make some more money.

    MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY MONEY

    NOTHING ELSE MATTERS in these cancer hospitals.

    shame on them.
    i’m disgusted over this!

  13. It is important to remember that
    All forms of out reach to the hospital should be respectful and of course we should all remember that Chillul Hashem has no Kaporah.

  14. The hospital will back down in a few hours. Just watch.

    This is now a national story. They don’t need any bad press over this.

    I heard that reporters from every major TV network are in contact with mishpacha.

  15. For thousands of years, the term “death” meant the permanent stopping of the heart and breathing. However, when Bjorn Ibsen from Denmark invented the artificial respirator in the 1950s, breathing and heartbeat could be continued when people were in a deep coma. In 1968, the rules for deciding “brain death” were first put in place with guidelines called the Harvard criteria. These were developed by anesthesiologist and early bioethicist Henry K. Beecher. Following Christian Barnard’s first transplant of a human heart in 1967, Beecher wrote that organ donation from those who were “hopelessly unconscious” would be beneficial.
    In other words, brain “death” was used so they copuld take organs from people.

  16. My email:

    To whom it may concern.

    Please respect the family wishes and let this child receive a miracle from gd.

    By doing so, gd will surly repay you for your good deeds.

  17. Follow da’as Torah!.I know of someone who was sick in the hospital 8 years ago .The doctor was told by the hospital not to go to the patient on his next round because the patient’s body is being taken to the morgue. The doctor went straight to the patient’s room in the ICU and revived him. He is B”H alive and well (a little disabled) today.

  18. According to a lecture given by Rabbi Yitzhok Breitowitz, shlita, advanced medical technology has made this issue even more difficult than ever. Formerly Rav Feinstein had held that if the life support machines had to be briefly turned off for maintenance, then they need not be turned back on where the patient was in this type of situation. However, since that psak, these machines no longer need to be turned off to be maintained — a patient could be kept on the same ventilator indefinitely. Authorities since then are quite split on what to do and it is definitely an issue for your personal rav.

  19. The email that I sent:
    As an Orthodox Jew, I am disheartened by the article that I read in the Washington Post about Motl Brody. As a mother myself with young children, as well as aging grandparents, I shudder to think of what our country is coming to and what kind of society my children will grow up in. It is a sad day, when physicians and hospitals, who have sworn to help heal, have turned into Angels of Death. As a proud citizen of our great country, that values the separation of church and state, I firmly believe that the family, alone, based on their religious convictions, should be the ones to determine whether or not to continue life support. To remove the child from life support, against the express wishes of his family, not only violates their religious freedom but from a religious perspective is actually killing their son. I wouldn’t what that blood on MY hands! I find particularly offensive the quote from Kenneth H. Rosenau, your attorney that states, “Continuing any support to this child eliminates any dignity this child has left. There is no religious principle at issue in this case, but a clash on the definition of death.” Firstly, his very comment is self-contradictory. If, according to his views, the patient is dead, what dignity are you eliminating? Secondly, what makes him qualified to determine whether or not there is a “religious principle at issue?” Is he a Rabbi or an expert in Jewish law?

    Please, let’s uphold our constitutional right of freedom of religion and leave this decision in the hands of the Brody family.

    Thank you for your continued service to our country.

  20. I just sent this and urge others to also contact the hospital. I hope it makes a difference.

    As a very concerned citizen I strongly request that you not abandon your essential role as a medical facility – to maintain human life. It behooves you to respect this family’s wishes. As stated in the essential part of the physician’s decree – “first do no harm,” desist from ending this human life.

  21. the following is the email I sent to the hospital, titled: KEEP BRODY ON LIFE SUPPORT!!:

    To whom this may concern:

    We thank g-d we live in a country that promotes religious freedom. We are thankful every day for this wonderful gift- please let us all see it in practice!! Our Jewish law absolutely forbids “pulling the plug”- he is still very much alive!

    WE REALLY BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! And we as the Jewish people and our great Rabbi’s are praying that: 1- the hospital makes the morally & religiously correct decision of keeping Brody on life support and 2- that we are worthy of witnessing a true miracle and Brody should return to good health that will last for many long years.

    We beg and plead that you listen to your conscience and our sacred constitution- not to the worldly pressures of making an extra buck- and do the only correct thing: KEEP BRODY ON LIFE SUPPORT!

    Thank you for listening. May we only experience good health in our lives.

  22. To #1 Ah Krume man,
    You should not comment on medicine or halacha,
    being that you are ignorant on both. You probably were just megaleh ponim shelo k’halacha! I’ll will now have to clear some things up because of what you wrote. First of all, there is a maclokes in the gemoroh – what is considered dead -either not breathing or not breathing & no pulse. Nowadays some Poskim want to include brain death.
    Read #13 and see what the problem is even acc. to these poskim. Because of this problem noone should be declared brain dead without independent confirmation. For you Mr. Krume mentch -who are you to decide the criteria is non-breathing instead of no heartbeat?! You obviously never took a medical course in your life, even something like CPR instruction. The only way you can keep a heart beating mechanically is with CPR or machines that pump for you. They have never done this in any hospital for more than a short time. So his heart has to be beating on his own, perhaps some medicines are helping. What kind of imbecile would just write off the other shita like it doesn’t exist?

  23. Article from a few months ago.
    I just emailed this to the hospital along with a plea to repect the patient’s and family’s religious laws and beliefs.

    Man makes “miraculous” recovery from brain death after accident

    Oklahoma City, Mar 27, 2008 / 05:58 am (CNA).- A young man who was injured in an all-terrain-vehicle accident woke from his coma and showed signs of life just minutes before he was to be disconnected from life support, Dateline NBC reports.

    Zack Dunlap suffered a broken collarbone, multiple skull fractures, and “absolutely catastrophic” brain injuries when his four-wheeled off-road vehicle flipped over.

    After tests revealed no blood flow to Dunlap’s brain, doctors determined he met the legal and medical requirements for declaring someone brain-dead.

    Dunlap’s family decided to remove him from life support, and a medical team prepared to harvest Dunlap’s organs for donation. Oklahoma authorities were informed of his death, while friends and family were told to gather at the hospital to say their goodbyes.

    Dunlap’s grandmother, Naomi Blackford, went in and prayed for him. She said to Dateline NBC that she was asking for “Just a miracle. That he was too young for God to take him. It wasn’t time.”

    Dunlap’s cousin Christie Coffin, a nurse, said, “I sat there and I just said to him, ‘Zack, if you’re in there, if you can hear me, ask God to help you.’ And I mean it probably wasn’t 10 minutes later, I started getting this different feeling in my gut. And I thought, ‘he’s not ready.’”

    Another cousin who is also a nurse, Dan Coffin, thought the monitor recording Dunlap’s vital signs showed signs of improvement. On a hunch he pulled out his pocketknife and scraped Dunlap’s foot from his heel to his toes.

    Dunlap jerked his foot, but the attending hospital nurse believed it was only a reflex. Dan Coffin then stuck his fingernail beneath Dunlap’s fingernail, which provoked a purposeful movement, a sign of brain activity.

    Doctors immediately resumed medical treatment. Dunlap opened his eyes after five days, and was taken off a ventilator two days later.

    The following week Dunlap began responding to his neurosurgeon and spoke his first words to his parents. Dunlap’s mother, Pam, said, “He looked around, and he said, ‘I love you’.”

    He began taking steps later that day.

    Dunlap’s trauma surgeon said he had no medical explanation for his recovery, and said all procedures were followed.

    Doctors insisted the tests administered to Dunlap were accurate, and said the hospital would have detected his renewed vital signs before any organs were harvested.

    Forty-eight days after being declared dead, Dunlap returned home, where Dan Coffin presented him with the pocketknife that proved he was still alive.

    “I had heard of miracles all my life. But I had never seen a miracle. But I have seen a miracle. I’ve got proof of it,” said Dunlap’s grandmother.

    “We both feel that God has some big plan for Zack. We’ll do everything in our power to help him pursue it — whatever it is,” said Dunlap’s mother, Pam.

    Dunlap said he did not remember the accident, but he does remember the doctor declaring him dead. “I heard it and it just made me mad inside,” he said.

    Amal Moorad, medical director of the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital in Oklahoma City where Dunlap recuperated, explained the patient’s prognosis. “Anytime you have severe brain injury, you’ll never be the same again from a mental, emotional standpoint,” he said.

    “Zack will be very close to normal, but not 100 percent, and only time will tell us.”

    Dunlap has resolved to pursue fishing. “No more 4-wheeling,” he told Dateline NBC.

  24. From a reliable source: The hospital opertors are going n-u-t-s.
    The phones are ringing “off-the-hook”.

    Keep up this pressure. It is the only hope that this child gets!

  25. Please post comments of outrage here, as all NY politicions, including the offices of Clinton and Schumer are reading thses right now!

    Let’s let this hospital know that they will never get away with this!

    I write this, as I am in close contact with the family.

  26. The hospitals are money-making business, and could not care less about a life (Jewish, Muslim, Hindu etc).

    They need this bed to get another sick person in, so they can bill the insurance companies another few hundred grand a month.

    Thieves.
    Plain and simple.

  27. Flatbush Zeidy wrote:

    “#

    The hospitals are money-making business, and could not care less about a life (Jewish, Muslim, Hindu etc).

    They need this bed to get another sick person in, so they can bill the insurance companies another few hundred grand a month.”

    That’s an absurd accusation. Aren’t they charging the boy’s insurance company now? What’s the difference where the money comes from?

  28. Please make the call. They are very polite, and logging all calls. Please speak in a positive, respectful, and kindly manner.

    We are all responsible for one another.

  29. KeenObserver, it’s possible the insurance company won’t pay for his care if the doctors determine that he’s brain dead. It may also be the case that he’s exceeeded the “lifetime limit” on his insurance policy.

  30. The issue here isn’t a financial dispute. The hospital wants to disconnect regardless. If it were just a financial issue, you can be sure the Jewish community would have long raised any funds necessary.

    As far as halacha, once he is on a ventilator, he cannot be removed from it if he will no longer be able to breath as soon as its removed. (It would be a different shaila if he wasn’t on it already.)

    Make the call AND e-mail.

  31. To Whom it May Concern, I am writing this letter to express the discontent of myself and many community members, on your decision to discontinue “Life Preserving Measures” for a precious young boy named Motl Brody. Your outright disregard of a tantamount religious belief, one of preserving life is abhorable. Have you forgotten what our country was founded upon, one nation under “G-D”, in the pursuit and with preservation of “Life” liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Has medical science not erred? Have there not been countless case studies worldwide of misdiagnosed and erroneous pronociations of death by noted physicians? Woe to those who are willing to chance the life of a precious child I have no envy for your pennance. I give you my blessing that, may compassion and justness take charge of your decision, may medical ethics take charge of your mind, and may you have possibly the once in a lifetime opportunity to change your error in saving a human life. Respectfully imploring you to continue Mr. Brody on life support,

  32. Elsie & Marvin Dekelboum Fountation Inc
    Published on Aidpage by IDILOGIC on Dec 28, 2005
    Data sources: Internal Revenue Service (IRS), GuideStar
    Basic info
    Name: Elsie & Marvin Dekelboum Fountation Inc
    Contact: STEVEN H ORAM CHARTERED
    Address: 4600 N PARK AVE PLAZA S
    CHEVY CHASE, MD 20815-4518
    Web site: no data
    Type: Private non-operating foundation

  33. AN ACTUAL LETTER SENT BY A YWN READER TO THE HOSPITAL:

    Children’s National Medical Center Executive Management and Key Staff:

    After recently reading about your dispicable intentions of “pulling the plug” on Motl Brody, I feel compelled to write to you and voice my community’s shock and concern at your hospital’s treatment of Motl and his family.

    The Orthodox Jewish community at large is absolutely appalled at your utter disregard for and disrespect of our religious beliefs. Regardless of what the District of Columbia legally considers life and death, your hospital’s insensitivity and indifference towards Motl’s family’s religious beliefs and wishes was evinced by the events and actions over the past few days.

    You and your fellow staff will undoubtedly have learned a great deal before this ordeal is over with. You will learn that we, the Orthodox Jewish community, are very cohesive and that this affront will be taken collectively by each and every Orthodox Jew throughout the world. You will learn how to lose friends and alienate people very quickly. And you will learn a lot more……

    Perhaps more importantly, we, the Orthodox Jewish community, have learned once again how true is the famous observation by Elie Wiesel, the great Nobel Peace Prize winner and holocaust historian: “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. The opposite of life is not death, it is indifference.”

  34. my email read as follows:

    To whom it may concern:
    Please respect this Childs religion as well as the families feelings and keep Motl alive….the dr or all dr’s does produce miracles in times when humans can’t fix problems.
    Thanks for your understanding and consideration.

  35. # 54
    please tell how you’d react if this was your son…and all he needs is for the Dr of all Dr’s to perform a miracle (and yes he’s done it in the past)….but you decided (with less chumras of course) to pull the plug 5 minutes before the miracle is supposed to take place….wow what a shame your child could have given you so much ”nachas”

  36. I sent my email to the above addresses as well as the chaplain services at the hospital (kennisdu@cnmc.org). This is the response that I got from the chaplain:
    appreciate your concerns. We care very much for Moti and his family. My question to you is if the definition of life is the presence of the soul in the body wouldn’t the soul help to preserve the body toward life? If Moti’s soul can not sustain his life then are human endeavors actually prolonging his dying and keeping him from God? The questions for all of us are huge ones. Please know that this hospital takes them very seriously and compassionately.

    Rev. Kathleen Ennis-Durstine

    Senior Chaplain

    Manager: Office of InterFaith Pastoral and Spiritual Care

    Children’s Hospital

    111 Michigan Ave., NW

    Washington, DC 20010

    202-476-3321

    kennisdu@cnmc.org

    fax: 202-476-3076

    And this was my reply:

    Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my concerns.

    The value that Judaism places on one single life is enormous. The Torah proclaims, “Anyone who saves one life is as if he has saved an entire world.” Additionally, the Torah allows for the desecration of other commandments, such as Sabbath observing, when someone’s life is at stake. Orthodox Jews believe that any life, no matter the level of brain function, is a life worth living, and all attempts to heal should be made.

    While I recognize, that different faiths may feel differently about this issue, and many in the medical field may debate the actual time of death, it is my strongest feeling (and that of many others!) that any family placed in such a situation should be allowed to exercise their rights and make that final decision based on their religious convictions.

    It is a sad day in American history when that right is denied them.

    As someone with family living in Maryland, I wish to thank you for providing chaplain services in such a prestigious hospital. May G-d bless you and your entire staff.

    Thank you.

  37. to # 56 please note the number you post for the hospital president, belongs to a different person living in virginia. i know i tried it. now its your turn to getitright

  38. To YWN Editor,

    Please contact Isaac Halberstam, Motl’s uncle and have him contact the WP to correct the story:

    Motl, a seventh-grader, is the third of seven siblings. His uncle, Yitzchak Halberstam, said the boy began feeling listless about six months ago. He was eventually diagnosed with an aggressive tumor and quickly had surgery. He never regained consciousness, Halberstam said.

    Halberstam said Motl was “a special kid.”

    This should read:

    Halberstam said Motl IS “a special kid.”

    Thank you.

  39. To the Family of Motl Brody:
    I just wanted to tell you I know exactly what you are going through.I am truly sorry for it. A year ago I was in a similar situation Where my daughter was in coma and the drs wanted to pull off her off the machines saying she is brain dead and has no chance in recovering. I am not trying to put doctors down but they only know what they are taught in school. They have been mistaken many times before. I know my daughter has something different than Motl but When there is life there is hope. There are so many people all over the world davening for your beautifeul Motl. Hashem listens. B”H my daughter has proven the doctors wrong. We had a hard time convincing the hospital to sustain her life because that is what we beleive. B”h we won the battle and we still have our daughter with us doing things the doctors said she would never do. The drs were even amazed because she developed infection and we returned to hospital they couldnt beleive it was the same girl. Ther is an abishter above who watches over us and has the ultimate power to give refuos. Please i know it is hard but remain strong and keep fighting IY”H we will see a yeshua and refuah. We are with you all the way.

    We have written and spoke to the hospital on your behalf; about our story and how the hospital was so quick to say its over and they finally worked with us to give our daughter a chance at life and they should do the same for you.

    I have been in contact with Rabbi Klar and if you need to talk or if there is anythinng we can do for you call him he knows where we can be reached.

    May Motl have A complete refuah shalima soon!

  40. Rev. Kathleen-Durstine,

    I am writing to you concerning The Children’s National Medical Center intention to remove Motl Brody from life support:

    As an interfaith pastoral chaplain, you have been given the task to approach those in your care from the religious point of view of their affiliation. I’m sure your position is not an easy one, a position that at times may require you to put aside your own beliefs to fulfill the beliefs of the patients. Please do all you can to be sure the Brody family’s religious laws and practices in regard to life support are preserved, and that the hospital respect their wishes.

    Thank you very much understanding the principles of other religions.

    Sincerely,

  41. thank you #72 for your kindness, we can see you’re wrighting this from your heart, that’s another example that we should never give up hope!!

  42. I believe a number of Issues bear examining here:
    Money>> One comment mentioned that it is not a monetary issue, because if necessary, the Jewish Community would have already raised funds for Moti’s care. Would this be proper, and for how long? Is it right to raise Tzedaka for someone with questionable hopes for recovery, vs. Tzedaka for food, clothing, shelter, etc., for others in definite need?

    Hasidic Dynasty and Blackmail>> One article mentioned that Moti’s family is from a distinguished and noble Hasidic Dynasty – the Bobover’s. Why does this matter? What difference does it make Halachically or otherwise, other than to possibly intimidate those involved in making the (hopefully) proper decision. Goyim don’t care about our “Hasidic Dynasties” and neither should we when it comes to Halacha — my opinion.

    Al Cheshbon Acheirim?>> Is it proper to use resources for Moti, ad infinitum, when they are or may be necessary for other patients? It is very nice to be frum, to hold to one’s beliefs, to try to adhere to Halacha, but on whose Cheshbon? Some other (R”L) sick child?

    Alternate Location>> One article mentioned that other Locations for Care would not accept Moti because he is brain dead. I find it hard to believe that no frum-run places exist that would take care of Moti. If we don’t/won’t take care of our own, why should a non-Jewish, non-Frum hospital take care of him?

    All the best, Shabbat Shalom, and may the Family find Peace.

  43. #

    Follow da’as Torah!.I know of someone who was sick in the hospital 8 years ago .The doctor was told by the hospital not to go to the patient on his next round because the patient’s body is being taken to the morgue. The doctor went straight to the patient’s room in the ICU and revived him. He is B”H alive and well (a little disabled) today.

    Comment by proud of KAJ WH TIDE — November 6, 2008 @ 1:12 pm
    The person about whom this was written,actually wrote his own message on this line,but wishes to remain annonymous.
    We do not expect Hashem to do a miracle but we hope for a yeshuas Hashem. He is testing klal Yisroel to see if we will daven for the boy and his family. נןשא עול עם חברו
    רפואה שלמה
    Gut Shabbos-and may we hear better news after Shabbos.

  44. A NEW PERSPECTIVE:
    THERE ARE NURSING HOMES OWNED BY FRUM JEWS WHICH HAVE THESE SPECIAL LIFE SUPPORT MACHINES. ANYONE WITH CONNECTIONS- PLEASE INQUIRE AND SEE IF THEY CAN TAKE ON MOTL BRODY. THIS MAY BE A GREAT TEMPORARY ALTERNATIVE- UNTIL WE ARE ALL WORTHY OF WITNESSING A WONDERFUL MIRACLE OCCUR.

  45. I believe each and every one of us needs to do their part. I’ve emailed and called and i keep davening. However, is it the correct thing to harass the individuals (that donate $ to the hospital) with 100’s if not thousands of phone calls? How will they take it? Will it Chas V’shalom backfire?? perhaps this should be done in an organized fashion- select askanim should approach them respectfully yet with the power of “supporting documents”= all the supportive comments posted here and perhaps a letter with many many signatures (i’m sure there are other strong ways to respectfully get the point accross-I’m not a pro).
    As to the hospital, they have a staff to handle the “crowds” and document everything. We should definitely continue applying the pressure!

  46. I’ve previously emailed & called. Don’t think one time is enough to say you helped. Keep on trying! You really never know. The following is another email I sent to the hospital.

    To the key Doctors and Staff:

    Do you have any idea what kind of affect this outrageous decision has created??!!

    You have no CLUE what kind of storm has erupted in the Orthodox Jewish community as a result of the news that you are even ENTERTAINING the idea of pulling the plug on Motl Brody! You should be aware that many powerful individuals have taken a strong interest in this case and are very supportive of keeping Brody on life support. In addition, our influence as Orthodox Jews reach far and wide. We may be scattered all over the globe, but we are all intricately interconnected. Pure strangers are not sleeping nights because of their concern for Motl Brody and his family. This will not die down quickly and it will not be forgotten!

    Here are some pointers to consider:

    Firstly- according to our religion, Motl Brody is still considered to be very much ALIVE. And LIFE is the pinnacle of all we believe in! It comes before EVERY COMMANDMENT WE WERE GIVEN! G-d commands we preserve life until HE decides when it is the right time for it to end. I shudder to think a Doctor or Hospital would give themselves that G-dly right and end someone- no, a precious child’s- life!! I do not envy your world to come. And- if unfortunately you do not believe in the world to come, G-d has his ways of serving just penance on THIS world, on this planet Earth that you live on.

    Secondly- do you have children? If you don’t, do you love children and see in them the potential for a brighter future? Who gives you the right to cut off that future?? To cause a family such grief?? To go against their strongest, deepest beliefs????

    REMEMBER YOUR POSITION ON THIS EARTH: You are just a messenger from G-d!! Here to SAVE LIVES not end them!!!

    PLEASE!! We implore you, we are begging and pleading, WE ARE PRAYING that you come to the only just decision. By keeping Motl Brody on life support you are keeping the sacred constitution of America alive- FREEDOM OF RELIGION!

    True miracles have happened before- many times over- we’re just waiting for this one to occur.

    Thank you for taking the time to listen, hear us out and come to your senses. KEEP BRODY ON LIFE SUPPORT!!