An Orthodox Jewish family whose teenageÂ daughter has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor is fighting to keep herÂ on life support because their faith prohibits taking her off it.
The family of 19-year-old Danielle Zfat, from Hollywood, Florida,Â have filed an emergency motion in courtÂ claiming doctors indicated they would remove life support.
Yet the Zfats are Orthodox Jews and theirÂ beliefs dictate the machines should not be switched off, as everything must beÂ done to preserve a human life.
They also claim the teenager previouslyÂ blinked to indicate she wanted to be kept alive.
‘Our way to believe as a Jew, is thatÂ everything goes through the heart,’ Danielle’s mother,Â Aviva Zfat, told WSVN.Â ‘As long as the heart beats, the soul isÂ in the heart, and therefore she is alive.’
The teenager was preparing to move to NewÂ York for college 14 months ago when she woke up with numbnessÂ down one side ofÂ her body.
To the devastation of her close-knit family,Â she was diagnosed with an aggressive tumour.
As her condition deteriorated, she wasÂ admitted to hospital on November 25. Then on January 1, herÂ condition quicklyÂ worsened and she was placed on life support.
Her family is now battling to keep her hookedÂ up to the machines and has even taken JoeÂ DiMaggio Children’s Hospital to court after claiming staff wanted to remove theÂ support.
The family’s attorney filed anÂ emergencyÂ motion in court claiming that from January 3, doctors ‘have indicated that they will be removing all medical systems which support her life’.
One of the family’s attorneys, Manachem Mayberg said: ‘The doctor’sÂ of the hospitalÂ specifically asked her whether she wanted to fight andÂ continue her life toÂ live. She blinked once for yes.’
‘We just want her to live,’ Aviva Zfat said.Â ‘When God decides to take her, then he will take her.
‘She’s breathing, she’s alive. She’s up thereÂ alive, breathing. Take care of my daughter please. Give her life. Don’t cut herÂ off.’
But in a statement, the hospital said they doÂ not intend to remove the girl’s life support.
‘Our hearts and compassion are with theÂ family at this difficult time,’ it read.
‘Due to patient confidentiality, we areÂ unable to discuss the medical aspects of this case, except to say that it wasÂ not the hospital’s intention to remove life support.
‘As an institution that values deeper caring,Â we do our utmost to respect religious and cultural beliefs.’
Over the course of her treatment,Â DanielleÂ has taken to her social networking profiles to update followers about herÂ chemotherapy treatments. In June, she simply wrote: ‘I miss my hair.’
In an extraordinary show of courage,Â she hasÂ remained upbeat throughout, grinning in photographs and callingÂ for friends toÂ support the fight against cancer.
Her mother added: If I can take her place.Â I’ll do it. I’ll switch places. I’m older. I’ve done enough for me. She can haveÂ my time.’
Source: The Daily Mail