Family in last-ditch attempt to stop hospital from taking toddler off life support

The parents of Alta Fixsler, 2, are calling on the prime minister to intervene


The family of a seriously ill toddler set to be taken off life-support have called on the government to intervene in a last-ditch attempt to save her life.

Alta Fixsler’s parents sought to reach an agreement with the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust trust following a legal battle to take her for treatment out of the UK but have been unsuccessful.

The trust has decided that the Manchester toddler’s treatment should be withdrawn either in paediatric care or a local hospice rather than at home, the JC understands.

It was concerned about trolley accessibility and feared the family’s offer to move house would cause delays. 

The parents said on Friday they wanted “the very best for our little girl.”

“We ask Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid to intervene and request the Trust reconsider their position and allow Alta to come home to her family,” they said in a statement.

Alta suffers from catastrophic brain injuries and has been under the care of the NHS trust since birth. 

The strictly-Orthodox family have argued that ending her life-sustaining treatment would go against their faith, but doctors say she has no chance of recovery and is in constant pain.

She has been granted a visa so she could be transferred to the US with her father - who is a citizen - so she could receive care in the country. 

Manchester Rabbi Jonathan Guttentag, of the Coalition for Jewish Values, claimed the trust’s decision amounted to “child euthanasia against the wishes of the parents.”

The faith leader added that it had “no place in any decent humane society, and stands at odds with the liberal nature of today’s Britain.”

“It breaches the sacred bond between parents and child and is an assault on the basic moral fabric of the family,” he said. 

Former MP Ivan Lewis also waded in, calling on the government to intervene and urging the NHS trust to reconsider its approach. 

“It is not too late to show some compassion for the grieving parents and respect for their religious beliefs,” he said.

A spokesperson for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said: “We recognise that this is an incredibly difficult and distressing time for Alta’s family and we will continue to support them. Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to comment further.”

The case has drawn wide media coverage and interventions from prominent public figures such as former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

The Supreme Court refused last month to overturn an earlier ruling allowing her transfer into palliative care.

The European Court of Human Rights rejected another appeal by her family this month. 

A Department of Health and Social Care Spokesperson said: “Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies go out to Alta Fixsler and her family during this incredibly difficult time.

“We do not comment on decisions by the independent judiciary.”

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