Life support for baby can stop, judge rules

The High Court says doctors can stop life support treatment for brain-damaged baby Isaiah Haastrup, against his parents’ wishes.

Specialists at King’s College Hospital in London said giving further intensive care treatment to the 11-month-old is “futile, burdensome and not in his best interests”, suggesting they provide only palliative care.

In his judgment, 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.”

The judge’s decision comes after the baby’s parents, mother Takesha Thomas and father Lanre Haastrup, went to court to fight for their son’s treatment to continue.

Mr Haastrup said after the ruling: “We will be speaking to the lawyers to see what they say. Of course, one is disappointed.”

Mr Justice MacDonald announced his decision on Monday in Birmingham after analysing evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London earlier this month.

Barrister Fiona Paterson, who has represented King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, had told the judge how Isaiah was born severely disabled.

Doctors told the judge that Isaiah suffered “catastrophic” brain damage due to being deprived of oxygen at birth.

Ms Paterson said nobody could understand the pain and suffering Isaiah’s parents had endured, but she said overwhelming medical evidence showed that stopping treatment was in Isaiah’s best interests.

Isaiah is in a low level of consciousness, can not move or breathe independently and is connected to a ventilator, doctors said.

They also said Isaiah did not respond to stimulation.

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