Judge Rules Doctors Can Override Parents, Remove Their 8-Month-Old Daughter From Life Support

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 16, 2017   |   5:48PM   |   London, England

A London judge ruled against a family’s wishes to keep their 8-month-old daughter on life support earlier this month, The Guardian reports.

Doctors initially suggested that the parents, who are not named in the report, abort the girl while she was still in the womb, according to the report. Medical professionals diagnosed the baby girl with a potentially fatal heart condition, but her parents refused to abort her, the report states.

Two days after she was born, she had heart surgery; however, the procedure apparently did not save her life. Doctors recently predicted that the baby girl would die within a few weeks, and the hospital asked a judge to decide whether her life support should be removed, the report states.

The order from Justice Russell allowed doctors to withdraw the infant’s life support, arguing that the baby’s death was “imminent” anyway and she was suffering.

“[The baby] is very likely to feel fear and to be frightened by the procedures being carried out,” the judge said.“The most that they might achieve is to delay her death by a very short time but in doing so she will be made to suffer very considerably when she could, and should, be allowed to end her life in as comfortable, pain-free and comforted condition as it is possible to achieve.”

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The baby girl’s parents said they accepted that their daughter probably would die, but they did not want to hasten her death. According to the report, they said there were still positive things in her life and they wanted her to “enjoy life.”

The report does not include details about whether the girl’s life support was removed or whether she still is alive.

These legal battles between parents and medical professionals appear to be happening more frequently in the western world. In 2016, LifeNews covered the cases of two toddlers whose parents fought to keep them on life support.

One was Israel Stinson, a 2-year-old from California who suffered brain damage after an asthma attack. His family said he responded to his mother’s voice, and several medical experts who examined him said he was not brain dead.

After weeks of legal proceedings to keep the hospital from removing his life support, Israel was transferred to a hospital in Guatemala where he was treated and given a chance to recover, LifeNews reported. However, he later was moved back to a U.S. hospital, and a judge quickly dissolved an injunction that prevented it from turning off his ventilator. He died shortly afterward.

Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri Schiavo and founder of Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, said many of the world’s health systems today base their decisions on cost rather than the value of people’s lives.

“It seems to me that if doctors believe death is ‘imminent and inevitable’ for this infant, then what would be the harm of allowing the parents to enjoy their child’s last days, rather than impose death on her,” Schindler told LifeNews. “Sadly, our global health care has become nothing more than a cost/benefit analysis, and if a patient is deemed too costly, then denial of care decisions, as in the case of this baby, will be made.”

LifeNews Note: File photo.