Doctors can stop life-support treatment to a brain-damaged 11-month-old against his parents’ wishes, a High Court judge has said.
King’s College Hospital wanted to give only palliative care to Isaiah Haastrup as staff felt continued life-support was “not in his best interests”.
Isaiah’s parents, Takesha Thomas and Lanre Haastrup, both 36, wanted his life-support treatment to continue.
Mr Justice MacDonald said he passed his ruling with “profound sadness”.
Mr Haastrup, from Peckham, south London, said after the ruling: “We will be speaking to the lawyers to see what they say.
“Of course, one is disappointed.”
During the hearing, doctors told the judge Isaiah suffered “catastrophic” brain damage due to being deprived of oxygen at birth.
They said Isaiah was in a low level of consciousness, could not move or breathe independently and was connected to a ventilator.
They also said Isaiah did not respond to stimulation.
However, Miss Thomas told the judge: “When I speak to him he will respond, slowly, by opening one eye.”
Pain and suffering
“I see a child who is injured. He needs love. He needs care. I have it. I can give it,” she added.
“To say it is so poor, it is not worth living, that is not right. It is not their decision to make.”
Barrister Fiona Paterson, representing King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said nobody could understand the pain and suffering Isaiah’s parents had endured.
However, she said overwhelming medical evidence showed stopping treatment was best for Isaiah.
In his ruling, Mr Justice MacDonald said: “Examining Isaiah’s best interests from a broad perspective I am satisfied that it is not in his best interests for life-sustaining medical treatment to be continued.
“That, with profound sadness, is my judgment.”
A spokeswoman for the King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation trust said the case had been an “extremely difficult time for Isaiah’s parents and all those involved in his care”.
She added: “The court’s decision to transfer Isaiah to palliative care is in his best interests and based on overwhelming expert evidence.
“Our priority now is to provide Isaiah with the medical care he needs, working closely with and supporting his parents.”
Mr Haastrup and Miss Thomas previously submitted a claim for clinical negligence against King’s College Hospital, separate to the High Court ruling.
The King’s spokeswoman said an investigation “highlighted some failings” in its care.
“We apologise unreservedly to the family,” she added.