“Brain stem dead” baby’s parents lose appeal to keep him on life support

Baby on ventilator - Image Anna Jurkovska / Shutterstock.com

The parents of a “brain stem dead” baby who was starved of oxygen for more than 30 minutes have lost their bid to keep him alive.

Last bid appeals on Thursday, October 6 were unsuccessful in both the Court of Appeal in London and the European Court of Human Rights in France.

The High Court had ruled recently that ending the treatment for the brain-damaged child was both lawful and in his best interests. At the time Mr Justice Poole said that further treatment was “futile”.

As a result, the boy’s parents appealed to the Court of Appeal in London and the European Court of Human Rights in a last-ditch attempt to keep him alive.

The young unnamed boy was declared brain dead in June after he was found unresponsive, but his parents fought to keep him alive. He has been on a ventilator ever since with doctors saying that he suffered massive brain damage.

Specialists consulted by the NHS agreed that there was no prospect of recovery and took the decision to tell the parents that they needed to begin palliative care.

But the boy’s parents, who are Muslims of Bangladeshi origin, argued for more time to let him recover or for “Allah to intervene”.

At the heart of the case is the observation by a nurse that the child had tried to breathe.

The boy, who will be six months old on Friday, is currently in a care unit at a London hospital run by the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. They went to court for a decision over what is best for the child.

This is the second case this year where a “Brain stem dead” baby’s parents lose their appeal to keep him on life support, with Archie Battersbee’s mother losing her fight earlier in the year.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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