The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected the Fixsler family’s appeal to save Alta’s life.
The ECHR sent a letter to the Fixlers on Monday evening stating that it agrees with the decision of the UK court mandating the withdrawal of life support from 2-year-old Alta. The decision was made despite the fact that Israeli and US hospitals have expressed willingness to take responsibility for Alta’s care and the parents are willing to transfer her at no cost to the UK.
Last week, the US State Department granted a non-immigrant visa for Alta to be assessed and possibly treated in the US. Alta’s parents are Israeli citizens and her father is a US citizen.
Yossi Gestetner, a friend of the family, told BBC: “We’re not dealing here with something that doesn’t feel pain, we’re dealing with a human being that’s alive, that has feelings, and therefore has the potential of a better future, if given the right care.”
“And no disrespect to the NHS, but nobody would think that a local hospital in Manchester has the same abilities and capability as world-renowned hospitals in Israel or in the United States.”
“Any parent would want to give the children a chance,” Gestetner asserted. “If the UK judicial system does not think that the NHS has an obligation to continue care … this should not preclude the freedom and ability for Alta to be transported to the United States or to Israel to have a second chance at life.”
The Fixslers’ lawyer, David Forster, told BBC that Alta’s religion wasn’t adequately taken into account.
“In Jewish culture, one becomes a member of the faith at conception and Alta’s religion forbids the withdrawal of life-saving care.”
“We also believe that excessive weighting has been given to ‘causing pain’ as a factor in the decision. We argue that Alta would feel no more or less pain being transported to a hospital in Israel than she would lying in a bed in Manchester – but her chance of further treatment has been denied her regardless.”
“We are considering our next steps. The legal route has ended but it is still the case that an agreement could be reached.”
The public is asked to daven for Alta bas Chaya betoch sha’ar cholei Yisrael.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)