CA - Parents Of Toddler Declared Brain-Dead Convinced He’s Still Alive

K_Z

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He wasn't in a coma. He was brain dead. A brain that is dead can not be jump started.

Yes. Exactly. He's been brain dead for about 5 months. It's pretty likely there is no "brain" left to be jump started. Brain tissue deteriorates and disintegrates pretty quickly. He had lots and lots of testing done months ago. I'm certain it included MRI and flow studies, in addition to the usual UDDA neuro death criteria.

Brain death is vastly different from "coma". It is exquisitely irresponsible and deceptive for attorneys and the mother to continue to use terms like "brain injury" and "coma".

Again, the doctors and hospitals cannot comment due to privacy issues. So the inaccurate, irresponsible comments are repeated over and over by unethical journalists, convincing a segment of the readership that what they say is "true", when it is definitely not.

Brain death is not an "opinion." It is a biological, anatomical, and physiological fact, provable with evidence. Those that believe otherwise are embracing theology and religion, not science and medicine. NO one, not a single person in all of the world, has ever recovered from *PROPERLY* diagnosed and documented brain death. This unfortunate little one had months and months of treatment and evaluation, by specialists at 5 or 6 hospitals in 2 countries. He was brain dead.

There can be no rational disbelief of that diagnosis or process-- although I do understand a mother's denial. The enabling pro-life attorneys are opportunistic vultures, IMO. They care only for high profile opportunities to publicize to advance their political ideas using vulnerable families. JMO.
 

i.b.nora

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There is even more to the story. This article is from July 8, and the family was planning to go to the EAST COAST.

snip

So, the really interesting 2 questions that remain are:

1. Why didn't the family stay in Guatemala, apply for residency there, etc? (I think I know the answers to this.)

2. If they were determined to come back to California and do "home care", why didn't they get the home care set up by their supporters in their existing home, and take Israel directly to their home from the aircraft? Why did they go to Children's Hospital LA? (And I think I know the likely answers to that one, too.)

Going strictly by memory, your Timeline seems reasonably accurate to me. And, I agree with your two remaining questions. I don't really have an answer to either question but am curious what your answers would be. In fact, I think I expressed previously that it seemed to me like Los Angeles Children's Hospital was targeted by the lawyers but I didn't have a clue as to why. I do know that at least one of the doctors usually involved with the anti-brain dead people is located in the Los Angeles area. Dr. Shewmon, I believe his name is.
 

K_Z

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You're correct, i.b.nora. Alan Shewmon is at UCLA. Could be he was the mystery doc. Who knows?
 

otto

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He wasn't in a coma. He was brain dead. A brain that is dead can not be jump started.

Yes, this is true. However, the parents appear to be taking the position that the child is not brain dead, but is instead unconscious; as in a coma. In order to rule out the parent's belief that their child is simply in a coma, the parents can undertake non-invasive techniques to determine whether the brain can be jump-started. If the brain cannot be jump-started, that should aid in their understanding that their child is braindead rather than unconscious.
 

K_Z

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Yes, this is true. However, the parents appear to be taking the position that the child is not brain dead, but is instead unconscious; as in a coma. In order to rule out the parent's belief that their child is simply in a coma, the parents can undertake non-invasive techniques to determine whether the brain can be jump-started. If the brain cannot be jump-started, that should aid in their understanding that their child is braindead rather than unconscious.

Agreed, otto- and the family could have pursued that in a home care situation, or could have pursued that in Guatemala, or in a "new age" holistic/ homeopathic/ alternative medicine facility willing to accept him. In an accredited U.S. hospital, the standard of care for a brain dead patient with a death certificate from 4 months ago, is withdrawal of support, not "more testing."
 

MzOpinion8d

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I'm terrible for thinking this, but every time I see this story I can't help but think that if this family would have invested this much effort in his care while he was alive, this would have never happened.
 

otto

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Agreed, otto- and the family could have pursued that in a home care situation, or could have pursued that in Guatemala, or in a "new age" holistic/ homeopathic/ alternative medicine facility willing to accept him. In an accredited U.S. hospital, the standard of care for a brain dead patient with a death certificate from 4 months ago, is withdrawal of support, not "more testing."

If the parents are contesting the ruling of "braindead", they have non-invasive options to support their position - that is my only point.
I'm not a lunatic who believes that brain dead people are not brain dead.
 

Doghairrules

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Yes. Exactly. He's been brain dead for about 5 months. It's pretty likely there is no "brain" left to be jump started. Brain tissue deteriorates and disintegrates pretty quickly. He had lots and lots of testing done months ago. I'm certain it included MRI and flow studies, in addition to the usual UDDA neuro death criteria.

Brain death is vastly different from "coma". It is exquisitely irresponsible and deceptive for attorneys and the mother to continue to use terms like "brain injury" and "coma".

Again, the doctors and hospitals cannot comment due to privacy issues. So the inaccurate, irresponsible comments are repeated over and over by unethical journalists, convincing a segment of the readership that what they say is "true", when it is definitely not.

Brain death is not an "opinion." It is a biological, anatomical, and physiological fact, provable with evidence. Those that believe otherwise are embracing theology and religion, not science and medicine. NO one, not a single person in all of the world, has ever recovered from *PROPERLY* diagnosed and documented brain death. This unfortunate little one had months and months of treatment and evaluation, by specialists at 5 or 6 hospitals in 2 countries. He was brain dead.

There can be no rational disbelief of that diagnosis or process-- although I do understand a mother's denial. The enabling pro-life attorneys are opportunistic vultures, IMO. They care only for high profile opportunities to publicize to advance their political ideas using vulnerable families. JMO.

I wonder if the attorney could be brought up on ethics charges?


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Doghairrules

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I'm terrible for thinking this, but every time I see this story I can't help but think that if this family would have invested this much effort in his care while he was alive, this would have never happened.

I had exactly the same thought. Apparently they were told in no uncertain terms this would happen if they continued their noncompliance.


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jjenny

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Agreed, otto- and the family could have pursued that in a home care situation, or could have pursued that in Guatemala, or in a "new age" holistic/ homeopathic/ alternative medicine facility willing to accept him. In an accredited U.S. hospital, the standard of care for a brain dead patient with a death certificate from 4 months ago, is withdrawal of support, not "more testing."

Or they could have brought him to New Jersey. There is a reason JM's family took her to New Jersey. It's really hard to understand why they would bring him back to Ca, when he was legally dead there.
 

Donjeta

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According to the July 1 filing, the pending death certificate “causes actual injury,” including the loss of medical insurance coverage and government benefits for Israel and his family.

The filing adds: “In the future, he will be unable to enroll in school, meet the identity requirements for employment, marry, obtain a driver license, register to vote, qualify for a credit card, or secure a home loan if he remains officially deceased.”

Sometimes it does seem that braindead people are driving and voting... but this is just disingenuous. Even if he was not brain dead, clearly his condition was very severe and some huge miracles would have had to have happened for him to ever accomplish any of that.
I'm sure if a person with a death certificate was ever in a position in which enrolling in school was even a remote possibility they'd have no trouble convincing the court they're not dead.

Yes, this is true. However, the parents appear to be taking the position that the child is not brain dead, but is instead unconscious; as in a coma. In order to rule out the parent's belief that their child is simply in a coma, the parents can undertake non-invasive techniques to determine whether the brain can be jump-started. If the brain cannot be jump-started, that should aid in their understanding that their child is braindead rather than unconscious.

At the current state of medicine, I think even if the person is "simply" in a coma, there are not that many options for jump-starting the brain. The heart can be jump-started with a defibrillator but there is no such procedure for jump-starting brain activity. If there is functional brain tissue left there are things that can be done to aid recovery but IMO nothing that comes close to jump-starting the brain.

The scientific article (just a letter really) about the ultrasound treatment says that it was the first time the procedure was ever tested in a human and while they were happy with the patient's recovery they are not sure if the treatment had anything to do with it. The article is also rather vague about the patient's clinical status which makes it difficult to assess whether he was already showing signs of improvement prior to the treatment.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...ulled-on-toddler-after-sudden-court-decision/

According to Snyder, the boy’s parents “distrusted” the diagnosis at UC Davis because they felt their son’s heart attack might have been prevented. “There were things that undermined their trust,” Snyder said. They also rejected the opinions of the doctors at Kaiser, which the parents felt was too quick to rule Israel brain dead.

While noting that the preventability of the heart attack has no bearing on whether he was brain dead or not, it is quite baffling to me why they would return the child to a hospital they didn't trust.

I'm sorry this happened to you, Israel. May you rest in peace.
 

Donjeta

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Before the procedure began, the man showed only minimal signs of being conscious and of understanding speech—for example, he could perform small, limited movements when asked. By the day after the treatment, his responses had improved measurably. Three days later, the patient had regained full consciousness and full language comprehension, and he could reliably communicate by nodding his head "yes" or shaking his head "no." He even made a fist-bump gesture to say goodbye to one of his doctors.
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-08-scientists-ultrasound-jump-start-brain-coma.html

Okay so the ultrasound guy was already conscious, responding to verbal commands and apparently making some progress in his recovery before the treatment. Talking about this process curing coma patients seems somewhat premature.
 

jjenny

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IS was most definitely brain dead. He was diagnosed by three different physicians in two different hospitals.
 

BetteDavisEyes

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I'm terrible for thinking this, but every time I see this story I can't help but think that if this family would have invested this much effort in his care while he was alive, this would have never happened.

I agree. Weren't there visits to the home from CPS regarding Israel's care and treatment for severe asthma?
 

K_Z

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I agree. Weren't there visits to the home from CPS regarding Israel's care and treatment for severe asthma?

Yes. Kaiser revealed that information in court filings that became public.

Multiple hospitals have been involved in Israel’s care. According to court papers filed by Kaiser’s lawyers, Israel was treated at Kaiser Vacaville’s emergency department for a severe asthma attack about four months ago. In January, the filing said, the child’s parents and county Child Protective Services were informed that Israel’s medical history and the failure to comply with medical recommendations were weakening Israel’s lung capacity to the point where he might be unable to recover from a severe bronchospasm.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article75472347.html#storylink=cpy

Here is more of the court transcript discussing whether a guardian needed to be appointed for Israel (the "Dority" discussion):

http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...ed-He%92s-Still-Alive&p=12558395#post12558395

IIRC, it was Isarel's primary pediatrician that initiated the CPS involvement, because Jonee had stopped giving Israel his steroids (and possibly other medications) following a very serious hospitalization, as well as cancelling/ avoiding follow up clinic appointments (detailed in court transcript referring to the documents). For any doc/ clinic to initiate that kind of CPS involvement, there has to be a pattern of behavior on the part of the parent that is felt to be very dangerous to the child's well-being, documented conversations with the parent about their objections or refusal of treatment recommended, as well as documented efforts to reach the parent due to missed appointments, including offers to reschedule, or unfilled prescriptions.

Those kinds of CPS reports simply don't happen after "one or two" innocent disagreements, or a misunderstanding of the treatment by the parents, or balking at certain meds, as the judge is clearly aware, by her comments. (Despite what Jonee said in interviews.)

IMO, it is indeed quite serious that reports were filed to get CPS involved BEFORE the catastrophic episode of April 1. Because of the "compassionate" angle, and notoriety and high profile nature of the case, I doubt that any official charges will be pursued against the mother. The media and the attorneys have gone to extreme (and IMO, highly irresponsible and unethical) lengths to paint the medical professionals as heartless, evil authorities who only wanted to quickly "kill" and "execute" little Israel.

There are some who feel that part of that legal and media strategy in this case was intentionally manipulated to deflect attention from the actions of the mother. It's been done before, for example, when parents accused of child abuse go to extremes to prevent withdrawal of support, which then converts their charges, or pending charges, to murder. Dinah Whited, is one such recent case.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/08/0...llowed-visit-before-life-support-removed.html

Arthur Kaplan, the noted medical ethicist, has also opined that such persistent and strenuous denials by parents of brain death, and their opposition to withdraw organ support, may indicate deep seated feelings of guilt on the part of a parent. The parent may somehow feel responsible, or partially responsible, for what happened to the child to produce the brain death. (Not necessarily criminally responsible-- just guilt feelings in general for a lapse in supervision, for example, or something similar.)
 

rob

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I'm so sorry to say, but many of these cases are about the money, not the child. They didn't put forth the required effort to keep this child healthy, and now that he is dead, they want to profit from it.
These days when a child dies, or basicly anyone, families want to hit the lotto from it. But to do that, you have to blame someone other than yourself.
MOO
 

Doghairrules

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Yes. Kaiser revealed that information in court filings that became public.



Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article75472347.html#storylink=cpy

Here is more of the court transcript discussing whether a guardian needed to be appointed for Israel (the "Dority" discussion):

http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...ed-He%92s-Still-Alive&p=12558395#post12558395

IIRC, it was Isarel's primary pediatrician that initiated the CPS involvement, because Jonee had stopped giving Israel his steroids (and possibly other medications) following a very serious hospitalization, as well as cancelling/ avoiding follow up clinic appointments (detailed in court transcript referring to the documents). For any doc/ clinic to initiate that kind of CPS involvement, there has to be a pattern of behavior on the part of the parent that is felt to be very dangerous to the child's well-being, documented conversations with the parent about their objections or refusal of treatment recommended, as well as documented efforts to reach the parent due to missed appointments, including offers to reschedule, or unfilled prescriptions.

Those kinds of CPS reports simply don't happen after "one or two" innocent disagreements, or a misunderstanding of the treatment by the parents, or balking at certain meds, as the judge is clearly aware, by her comments. (Despite what Jonee said in interviews.)

IMO, it is indeed quite serious that reports were filed to get CPS involved BEFORE the catastrophic episode of April 1. Because of the "compassionate" angle, and notoriety and high profile nature of the case, I doubt that any official charges will be pursued against the mother. The media and the attorneys have gone to extreme (and IMO, highly irresponsible and unethical) lengths to paint the medical professionals as heartless, evil authorities who only wanted to quickly "kill" and "execute" little Israel.

There are some who feel that part of that legal and media strategy in this case was intentionally manipulated to deflect attention from the actions of the mother. It's been done before, for example, when parents accused of child abuse go to extremes to prevent withdrawal of support, which then converts their charges, or pending charges, to murder. Dinah Whited, is one such recent case.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/08/0...llowed-visit-before-life-support-removed.html

Arthur Kaplan, the noted medical ethicist, has also opined that such persistent and strenuous denials by parents of brain death, and their opposition to withdraw organ support, may indicate deep seated feelings of guilt on the part of a parent. The parent may somehow feel responsible, or partially responsible, for what happened to the child to produce the brain death. (Not necessarily criminally responsible-- just guilt feelings in general for a lapse in supervision, for example, or something similar.)

I believe they should charge the parents in this case anyway. That is reckless behavior that cost this little cutie his life.

ETA: what if anything did CPS do? Apparently not much since he's dead. Sigh.

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K_Z

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I believe they should charge the parents in this case anyway. That is reckless behavior that cost this little cutie his life.

ETA: what if anything did CPS do? Apparently not much since he's dead. Sigh.

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I think it was reckless and negligent, also, and I think those actions almost certainly directly contributed to the April 1 episode. There are comments on social media that Jonee and Nate are both smokers, which (if true), was also unquestionably detrimental to Israel's health. (And the other infant in the home.)

However, *if* any charges are ever pursued, the media has already demonstrated that they have taken the mother's side against the authorities and hospitals. I think we'd see a lot of complaints that any charges were "racist", "retaliatory" by CPS/ the docs and hospitals, "cruel" to a grieving and devoted mother, etc.

This isn't a clear case of child abuse, or a clear case of something like Munchausen by Proxy. It's "generalized" poor decision making/ unwise parenting on an ongoing basis, that may or may not meet the criteria for some kind of negligence. That's very hard to prosecute, IMO, especially since Israel is now dead (no more removal of custody issues, which would be the remedy. I don't think her actions likely rose to the level of felonies). Bringing charges would be a no-win situation. Israel's gone. I think they have large bills they will never pay off, both in the U.S., and in Guatemala, that there weren't enough donations to cover. I doubt any of the hospitals or docs will ever pursue Jonee for payment that wasn't covered. Jonee's attorneys are already talking about the many cases they plan to file to try to recover money. Seems like that is everyone's response these days-- it's a kind of "lottery" for some.

I'm very sure Jonee and Nate loved Israel deeply. I think Jonee made a lot of very unwise (perhaps immature) and misguided decisions about Israel and his care, and was enabled in those misguided decisions by the pro life attorneys as this sad case unfolded. I also don't think any jury would ever convict her of anything related to Israel's care, misdemeanor or felony. I don't think charges will be pursued. I also don't think Jonee should receive any "winnings" from potential civil suits. I don't think she has experienced *actionable* damages from any of the docs or hospitals. JMO.
 

Doghairrules

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I think it was reckless and negligent, also, and I think those actions almost certainly directly contributed to the April 1 episode. There are comments on social media that Jonee and Nate are both smokers, which (if true), was also unquestionably detrimental to Israel's health. (And the other infant in the home.)

However, *if* any charges are ever pursued, the media has already demonstrated that they have taken the mother's side against the authorities and hospitals. I think we'd see a lot of complaints that any charges were "racist", "retaliatory" by CPS/ the docs and hospitals, "cruel" to a grieving and devoted mother, etc.

This isn't a clear case of child abuse, or a clear case of something like Munchausen by Proxy. It's "generalized" poor decision making/ unwise parenting on an ongoing basis, that may or may not meet the criteria for some kind of negligence. That's very hard to prosecute, IMO, especially since Israel is now dead (no more removal of custody issues, which would be the remedy. I don't think her actions likely rose to the level of felonies). Bringing charges would be a no-win situation. Israel's gone. I think they have large bills they will never pay off, both in the U.S., and in Guatemala, that there weren't enough donations to cover. I doubt any of the hospitals or docs will ever pursue Jonee for payment that wasn't covered. Jonee's attorneys are already talking about the many cases they plan to file to try to recover money. Seems like that is everyone's response these days-- it's a kind of "lottery" for some.

I'm very sure Jonee and Nate loved Israel deeply. I think Jonee made a lot of very unwise (perhaps immature) and misguided decisions about Israel and his care, and was enabled in those misguided decisions by the pro life attorneys as this sad case unfolded. I also don't think any jury would ever convict her of anything related to Israel's care, misdemeanor or felony. I don't think charges will be pursued. I also don't think Jonee should receive any "winnings" from potential civil suits. I don't think she has experienced *actionable* damages from any of the docs or hospitals. JMO.

You're right of course. It's just heartbreaking that Israel lost his life.


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K_Z

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New message from 6 hours ago on the fundraising site started by Nate Stinson. Jonee Fonseca has words of thanks and appreciation for donors, harsh words for the court system and medical system, and is asking for more donations to fund the funeral and "home going service".
 
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