Another British family lost the right to make decisions about their severely ill infant son’s medical care Monday when a judge ruled that the hospital may turn off his life support.
The boy, 11-month-old Isaiah Haastrup, suffered brain damage at birth. His parents, Lanre Haastrup and Takesha Thomas, said their son is responsive and deserves care.
However, on Monday, Justice MacDonald of the High Court said further treatment is not in Isaiah’s “best interest,” and the hospital may turn off his ventilator, according to Fox News.
“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 ruled.
His father said they were “disappointed” by the ruling, and plan to talk to their lawyers about their options.
Isaiah’s family has been in a legal battle with Kings College Hospital in London for months. They previously said doctors have been pressuring them to remove their son’s ventilator and switch to palliative care. The parents said they do not trust the hospital, and they take 4 to 5 hour shifts watching Isaiah every day.
Thomas pleaded her son’s case before the judge.
“When I speak to him he will respond, slowly, by opening one eye,” she said. “I see a child who is injured. He needs love. He needs care. I have it. I can give it. To say it is so poor, it is not worth living, that is not right. It is not their decision to make.”
Haastrup, a lawyer, said they do not think it is in their son’s “best interests” to remove his ventilator and let him die. The parents said they believe there are treatments that the hospital has not tried yet that could help Isaiah.
The hospital also refused their request to transfer their son to another hospital, according to the report.
However, the hospital contends that Isaiah cannot move or breathe on his own and has a low level of consciousness, according to the report.
Thomas previously compared her son’s case to that of Charlie Gard, another British infant whose parents fought a long legal battle over his medical treatment. Charlie died on July 28, 2017 after a judge ordered that the hospital be allowed to remove his life support against his parents’ wishes.
Attention to these difficult cases has increased since the tragic story of Charlie Gard became an international subject last summer. Charlie Gard’s parents wanted him to undergo an experimental treatment, but his hospital said the infant would not benefit from the treatment and petitioned the court to remove his life support.
Questions remain about whether Charlie could have benefited from the experimental treatment, had it not been delayed for months during the legal battle.