The tragic passing of Alta Fixsler has sent shockwaves throughout the globe, but amidst the horror of this incredible travesty of justice comes an additional wave of emotion – fear. Parents of seriously ill children are understandably worried about finding themselves in similar situations and the Chayim Aruchim hotline has been flooded with calls from people wondering if something similar could happen in the United States and, if so, how to prevent another tragedy of this nature.
Alta Fixsler’s case, which had the UK government deciding that it was in the little girl’s best interests to disconnect her from lifesaving equipment, demonstrates that those concerns are very well founded. Parents have told us that hospitals have been strongly encouraging them to sign DNRs and other legally binding documents that would give them permission not to put their seriously ill children on respirators. This approach runs counter to all that we believe as Torah-true yidden who treasure every priceless moment of life.
Chayim Aruchim has challenged hospitals on many occasions to ensure that patients not be removed from lifesaving medical devices, winning multiple court cases against one hospital in particular. Our rabbonim, lawyers and medical experts work around the clock to protect our community and to overcome the obstacles we face in a society that continues to distance itself from the sanctity of life.
Alta Fixsler’s death is a reminder that every moment of life is of inestimable value. As we mourn her passing, we recommit ourselves to doing everything in our power to ensure that all patients, even the most seriously ill, have the opportunity to receive lifesaving care and to live out all of their days in accordance with Jewish law.
As always, Chayim Aruchim is just a phone call away. If you have any concerns, doubts or fears about medical care your loved one is receiving, call us 24/6 at 718-ARUCHIM