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Legal Battle Takes Brain-Dead Toddler Off Life Support

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A prolonged legal battle in California ended with the death of a brain-dead toddler after being taken off life support, Fox News reports.

In a surprising move, a Superior Court judge in Los Angeles ruled on Thursday to dissolve the restraining order that had been keeping 2-year-old Israel Stinson on life support.

Jonee Fonseca, Stinson’s mother, told local news outlet the Sacramento Bee from her son’s bedside that the ventilator at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles was turned off at 3:00 p.m. Stinson died right after.

“He’s gone,” Fonseca said in an emotional phone call.

The court had granted a temporary restraining order last week to keep Stinson on life support, as the family brought in another neurologist to take a look at the boy.

Alexandra Snyder, one of the attorneys on the case, said the decision “was a complete shock” and a “complete turnaround from last week.”

The hospital filed an appeal, but the judge said during the hearing that the case had already been heard in both federal and state courts, leading to the dissolution of the restraining order.

Stinson had passed through several hospitals, and his case has gone through several courts since he was pronounced brain dead at the University of California Davis Medical Center. He had suffered from cardiac arrest following what appeared to be an asthma attack in April.

Life support cases are rare, but not unheard of. In 2013, a 13-year-old girl named Jahi McMath had a tonsillectomy and tissue removal at the Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California to treat sleep apnea. She suffered massive blood loss, had a cardiac arrest and was declared brain dead.

The McMaths gained national attention after doctors argues that she should be taken off the ventilator. Her family decided to fight to keep her on life support, and won an injunction to prevent doctors from taking their daughter off life support, The Daily Mail reports.

McMath’s parents moved her to New Jersey, where state laws require medical treatment for brain dead patients who show even the slightest brain activity. Chris Dolan, the family’s attorney, filed papers in 2014 declaring that she was no longer brain dead and showed signs of life. McMath’s mother has been posting updates on the girl’s condition, saying that her daughter is “as healthy and beautiful as ever, proving the naysayers wrong.”

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