A British family continues to fight for treatment for their severely ill infant son, Isaiah Haastrup.
Last week, a judge ruled that the hospital may turn off Isaiah’s life support against his parents’ wishes. On Monday, his parents said they will appeal, and a court said Isaiah will remain on the ventilator while they do, the BBC reports.
“Why are you in a rush to kill him?” Lanre Haastrup, Isaiah’s father, asked the hospital. “Wait. Once you kill him, that’s the end. You can’t bring him back.”
He and Isaiah’s mother, Takesha Thomas, of Peckham, southeast London, have been in a months-long legal battle with King’s College Hospital in London. They said doctors have been pressuring them to remove their son’s ventilator and switch to palliative care.
Isaiah suffered brain damage at birth when he was deprived of oxygen. According to the hospital, he is minimally conscious and cannot move or breathe. Isaiah’s doctors said they believe it is in his “best interests” to remove his ventilator and allow him to die.
However, his parents said he does respond to them. They said they believe there are treatments that the hospital has not tried yet that could help Isaiah.
Thomas pleaded her son’s case before the judge. The doctors wrongly deemed Isaiah’s life “not worth living,” Thomas said.
“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.”
The hospital also refused their request to transfer their son to another hospital, according to the report.
Here’s more from the report:
Mr Haastrup said ‘everything’ was ‘about full control’ for hospital bosses and accused doctors of not taking account of his views or those of Miss Thomas.
A spokesman for King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘This is an extremely difficult time for Isaiah’s parents but we cannot comment on Mr Haastrup’s appeal.
‘That is a matter for Mr Haastrup. The decision handed down on Monday 29 January, following a three-day hearing, ruled that it was in Isaiah’s best interests to transfer him to palliative care.
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‘We are trying to engage with the family regarding Isaiah’s transfer and will continue to offer them our support.’
Isaiah’s case is similar to Charlie Gard’s, 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.