UK High Court will decide if hospital can yank 5-year-old’s life support against parents’ wishes
LONDON, England, July 23, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – England’s High Court will determine the fate of a five-year-old child in September.
Tafida Raqeeb, 5, is lying in a minimally conscious state in Royal London Hospital, having suffered a ruptured blood vessel this past February. The girl’s parents believe that she may recover greater consciousness, but her doctors do not. Thus, both her parents and her doctors have sought court orders: her parents, to have her removed to an Italian hospital for further treatment, her doctors, to remove her from life support, so that she will die.
Yesterday Mr Justice MacDonald said at a preliminary hearing that he will address both requests at a week-long hearing in September.
According to the Newham Recorder, a London newspaper, MacDonald refused to agree to Tafida’s and her parents’ lawyers request that they be heard separate from, and before, the hospital’s legal team.
His reasoning was that it would be “discordant” to hear the same issues twice and that combining the two proceedings would be the most “suitable and proportionate way” of ensuring a prompt deliberation of the “very difficult issues.”
One of the attorneys representing Tafida and her parents is Yogi Amin, a human rights lawyer. According to the UK’s Catholic Herald, Amin asserted that Tafida’s parents intentions were good and that there was no evidence that she would be harmed by further treatment.
“The heartbroken family do not want to be caught in a situation where the state overrules the parents’ good intentions to arrange […] treatment in a hospital of their choosing for their disabled daughter,” he said.
“There is no evidence that Tafida will be harmed during transit or abroad and her loving parents should have a legal right to elect to transfer their daughter to another hospital for private medical care,” he added.
The Giannina Gaslini Institute, a world-class children’s hospital in Genoa, has confirmed that it is willing to treat Tafida. It has assembled a medical team for the little girl, and they have communicated with her British doctors. In Italy doctors do not withdraw life-supporting treatment from children unless they are “brain-dead.”
Tafida, whom tests show is not “brain-dead,” will remain on a ventilator at least until her case is heard in September.