The State of Israel and the Alta Fixsler case

It is incomprehensible that the State of Israel sat silently by at a time like this. Op-ed.

Tamar Adelstein ,

Alta
Alta
Alta Family

An open letter to the Israeli Government from Crown Heights Women for the Safety and Integrity of Israel

The very premise for the founding of the modern State of Israel was to protect, defend and rescue the lives of its citizens, our fellow Jews, when they are in danger, whether at home or abroad.

Why, then, Members of Knesset, were you silent in the case of Alta Fixsler?!

Every action should have been taken to intervene and save Alta's life. Prime Minister Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid you must summon UK Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan to formally protest what is no less than the judicial execution of an Israeli citizen, Alta Fixsler!

We expected you to direct Ambassador to the UK, Mrs. Tzippy Hotovely, to call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson and remind him, just like Senator Charles Schumer recently did, “that he, the Prime Minister, is in charge of the hospital because he is the head of the National Health Service System and he can overrule them”.

Mr. Prime Minister, we remind you that Alta is an Israeli citizen for whom you bear a responsibility.

Even if coming to the rescue of Israeli citizens in danger on foreign soil may not yet be enshrined in Israeli law, it has been the practice of every Israeli government to try and do so. Surely, if the Israeli Government can extend itself to rescue Israeli backpackers stranded in the middle of a blizzard somewhere on a mountain top in the Himalayas, then how much more so should the life of a precious Jewish child, an Israeli toddler, no mater what her health, deserve to be saved!

The shameless legal sanctioning in the UK that allows "mercy-killing" little Alta in the guise of it being "in her best interest" is but one step away from any one of the world's powers likewise using this as a legal basis to sanction the murder of whomever they might decide is not in "their best interest". The High Court's order to dispose of Alta Fixsler is frightfully reminiscent of the way Hitler and the Nazis began their evil rise to power and their treatment of the disabled.

Please note:

When we first read through the High Court's decision, we found doctors' testimony about Alta's pain and prognosis weak and unconvincing. Additionally, we were astonished that their testimony left out any reference to the standard therapies provided, par for the course, to babies and children with disabilities. Yet, inexplicably, Alta's medical team never once arranged for her to receive such services. Moreover, when Alta's parents saw how positively she responded each time they sang to her, they asked the staff to provide her with music therapy (a service given to other children on the ward) yet their request was brushed aside and ignored.

Like so many others, we too were appalled by the Court's stubborn refusal to allow Alta's parents to take her elsewhere. Expert medical facilities in both Israel and the US have long been ready and willing to admit her as a patient, at no cost or burden to the UK. The Courts' lengthy and convoluted excuses for denying Alta the chance to receive treatment fly in the face of all reason and true human compassion.

Needless to say, the subtle anti-Semitic/anti-Israel sentiments written into the judges' decisions were not lost on us. Nor was the attempt to make it seem as if all that matters to Alta's parents and her supporters is upholding the letter of Jewish Law, rather than caring about her pain or the quality of her life.

However, as much as we were angered and frustrated by the Court's intransigence, that is nothing compared to our absolute fury after reviewing Alta's Medical Records and reading through the Guardian's report which played such an influential role in the Court's decision.

Not only did the National Health Service withhold the Medical Records from the Fixslers’ attorneys until a little over two weeks ago (releasing them only in bits and pieces), but the Medical Records simply do not substantiate the doctors' testimony or the Guardian's report - which also was only made available but a day before last week's final hearing!

As a matter of fact, the Medical Records (which include daily and weekly submissions from the staff taking care of Alta) unanimously document the Fixslers' affection and attentiveness to their daughter noting, again and again, how much she is at ease and relaxed in their presence and arms.

For the record, both parents were trained in 2019 to take care of Alta's special needs as part of the plan to bring her home that, unfortunately, someone in the National Health Service unilaterally ditched around the time she was turning one. Moreover, the Medical Records for 2021 clearly document both parents’ adeptness at taking care of Alta's trach, her suctioning and other basic nursing despite the false testimony given claiming otherwise.

Contrary to doctors' testimony, the Medical Records indicate little, if any, seizure activity from the start of 2021 or anything resembling the kind of pain and distress the doctors attested to in Court.

The Guardian's report concludes with the following chilling statement: "There is the possibility that Alta may continue to breathe independently and is not actively, albeit is in the process, of dying for some weeks. I have some concerns about what might happen in that scenario and do not believe that there should be any attempt to prolong her life or for her to move to her parents’ care at any point in the palliative pathway."

How to overcome this possibility? Give the little bother a lethal mix of “comfort” drugs and problem solved... See: Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust v Fixsler (No. 2) (judiciary.uk)

The Lubavitcher Rebbe said that when Jewish lives are in danger, we must cry out and even bang our fist on the table in protest. Where were you?

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