Brain-dead toddler moved to new hospital at mother’s appeal

A California toddler whose family waged a court battle to keep him on life support after he was declared brain dead has been transferred to another hospital, the family’s attorney said Monday. 

Attorney Kevin Snider declined to release the name of the hospital or its location, citing the privacy of 2-year-old Israel Stinson’s family. 

Israel’s mother, Jonee Fonseca, had been looking to move the child out of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Roseville, where doctors said he was brain dead and his condition wouldn’t improve. 

Fonseca said Israel had moved his body in response to her touch and voice, and she believed he was still alive as long as his heart was beating.


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A federal appeals court on Friday gave Fonseca more time to find another facility for Israel, ordering Kaiser Permanente to continue life support while it considered his mother’s appeal. 

A lower court had extended life support only to the end of the business day Friday. 

Snider said Fonseca’s appeal was now moot. 


Kaiser Permanente confirmed in a statement that Israel was no longer at the hospital. 

“Our primary goals have always been to offer our support to Israel’s family and follow the courts’ direction,” said Chris Palkowski, chief of staff at Kaiser Permanente in Roseville. “We hope this transfer brings peace for Israel’s family.” 

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Israel came to Kaiser Permanente on April 11 after treatment at UC Davis Medical Center following what appeared to be an asthma attack, according to court documents. At the medical center, he went into cardiac arrest and was later found to be brain dead. 

Two more evaluations at Kaiser Permanente also determined he was brain dead, Kaiser Permanente attorneys said. 

Fonseca filed a lawsuit in state court to prevent Kaiser Permanente from removing Israel from life support. A judge ruled against her last month. 

Fonseca filed a separate federal lawsuit, arguing that state law doesn’t allow patients to bring in their own doctors to challenge the finding of death, and that violates due-process rights under the U.S. Constitution.



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