A British high court has barred the Jewish parents of a critically ill two-year old girl from taking her to a Jerusalem hospital for more treatment.
The court also ruled that life support treatment for the child can be stopped, despite her parents' wishes to keep her alive, reported the Daily Mail.
Alta Fixsler had a brain injury at birth, and is not able to breathe, eat or drink on her own.
On Friday, Justice MacDonald of the Family Division of the High Court told Alta’s Orthodox parents that their daughter should be put into palliative care, agreeing with the stance of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust hospital that the child has “no prospect of…ever getting better.”
According to the Daily Mail, lawyers for the hospital had asked the court to decide whether it would be in the best interests of the child for her life support regimen to be ceased, and for her to be placed in palliative care until she passes away.
However, Alta's parents said that ending her treatment, which would lead to her death, contravened their Jewish religious beliefs. They wanted to take her to a hospital in Israel for further life saving care.
The judge told Alta’s parents that taking the child out of the country “would cause her discomfort for no medical benefit, in circumstances where all parties accept that the treatment options now available for Alta provide no prospect of recovery,” and was therefore was denying their request, reported the Jewish Chronicle
MacDonald further stated that while the parents “cannot be criticized for having reached a different decision informed by the religious laws that govern their way of life,” he felt that he must apply “secular legal principles” to the case. He instructed the hospital to begin palliative care treatment for Alta.
The parents’ lawyer said they were “devastated” and were considering appealing.