Orthodox Parents Won't Take Girl Off Life Support

Danielle Zfat, 19, Has Brain Tumor

By JTA

Published January 10, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Orthodox Jewish parents of a Florida Jewish teen on life support have filed a motion in court to prevent the hospital from removing life-sustaining machines.

Danielle Zfat
Danielle Zfat

Danielle Zfat, 19, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor 14 months ago, is hospitalized at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. She entered the hospital in late November and was placed on life support, according to the local television station WSVN.

According to the motion filed with a local court, the hospital indicated that as of Jan. 3 it would remove life support. As Orthodox Jews, the Zfat family does not believe in removing life support.

A family attorney, Manachem Mayberg, told WSVN that hospital doctors asked Danielle if she wanted to remain on life support and she blinked her eyes once to signify yes.

The hospital released a statement Wednesday that said, “Our hearts and compassion are with the family at this difficult time. Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to discuss the medical aspects of this case, except to say that it was not the hospital’s intention to remove life support. As an institution that values deeper caring, we do our utmost to respect religious and cultural beliefs.”

Zfat’s synagogue has asked for prayers for her.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.