Muslim parents of severely brain-damaged baby launch appeal
Muslim parents of severely brain-damaged four-month-old baby who began to breathe after medics decided he was dead launch appeal bid after losing High Court battle to keep him alive on life support
- Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors could lawfully stop providing treatment
- Judge heard how the baby tried to breathe after doctors diagnosed him as dead
- Bosses at a London hospital trust became involved in a dispute with his parents
The Muslim parents of a severely brain-damaged four-month-old boy have launched an appeal bid after losing a High Court battle to keep him on life-support treatment.
Mr Justice Hayden ruled last week that doctors could lawfully stop providing treatment to the baby after a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
The judge heard how earlier this summer the baby had tried to breathe after doctors had diagnosed him as being brain stem dead.
Two appeal judges are scheduled to consider the case at a preliminary Court of Appeal hearing in London on Friday.
Bosses at a London hospital trust responsible for the boy’s care became involved in a treatment dispute with his parents earlier this summer and asked a High Court judge to consider the case.
Lawyers representing Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said tests showed that the boy, who has suffered a serious brain injury and is on a ventilator, was brain stem dead and wanted a judge to make a declaration of death
Lawyers representing Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said tests showed that the boy, who has suffered a serious brain injury and is on a ventilator, was brain stem dead and wanted a judge to make a declaration of death.
But they subsequently returned to court and told Mr Justice Hayden how a nurse had noticed the boy trying to breathe, after doctors had carried out brain stem tests and concluded that he had died.
Specialists rescinded ‘the clinical ascertainment of death’ and trust bosses asked Mr Justice Hayden to decide instead what moves were in the boy’s best interests.
He ruled that ventilation should be withdrawn and only palliative care provided.
The judge said evidence showed that the baby was dying and had a ‘complete absence of ability to benefit from treatment’.
Barrister David Lawson, who led the trust’s legal team, told Mr Justice Hayden that the boy had suffered a ‘devastating’ brain injury and asked him to rule that he should now follow a ‘palliative care pathway’.
Mr Justice Hayden ruled last week that doctors could lawfully stop providing treatment to the baby after a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London
The boy’s parents, Muslims of Bangladeshi origin, viewed his breathing attempts as a miracle and want him to remain on a ventilator.
A senior doctor involved in the boy’s care had told the judge that she did not know whether there were other similar cases.
The doctor said she had never seen such a situation before and told the judge that a review was ongoing.
She apologised to the boy’s parents.
Mr Justice Hayden said the case raised ‘important questions’.
The judge ruled that neither the boy nor medics involved in his care could be named in media reports of the case.
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