UK Doctors Pulling Plug on Another Child

News: World News
by Rodney Pelletier  •  •  July 16, 2019   

London doctors want to withdraw care despite parents' pleas

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LONDON ( - Yet another child in the United Kingdom is being sentenced to death by doctors. Shelina Begum and Mohammed Raqeeb are fighting against doctors at the Royal London Hospital to save the life of their 5-year-old daughter, Tafida Raqeeb.

On Feb. 9, Tafida suffered a type of brain hemorrhage, called a brain arteriovenous malformation, which rendered her unresponsive. But despite being able to open her eyes and move her limbs, doctors at the Royal London Hospital are saying Tafida is brain dead and it's in "the child's best interests [to withdraw] life-sustaining treatment."

Since U.K. doctors have made a final determination on the child's status, her parents have sought the opinion of other physicians. After conducting an evaluation via video, Italian doctors maintain they can treat the child.

But as in the earlier cases of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans, doctors are not allowing the parents to remove the child from the hospital to seek treatment elsewhere.

A hospital representative is claiming, "Our expert clinicians caring for the child have determined, in discussion with additional independent medical experts elsewhere in London, that further invasive medical treatment is futile," adding, "We are engaging with the family to ensure we uphold the child's best interests."

Her parents are petitioning the U.K. High Court to force doctors to release her and would use their own funds to transport the child to Italy for further treatment.

Begum, Tafida's mother, said that before Feb. 9, "Tafida was previously completely healthy, she was exceptionally bubbly, happy and friendly. She was consistently by my side and chosen as a helping hand monitor at school because of her caring and loving nature."

She continued, "It is heartbreaking to see her like this and we just can't give up on her if there is any chance she could survive."

In the previous cases of Gard and Evans, doctors and U.K. courts refused to honor the parents' wishes to seek foreign health care and their children died.

Upon the death of 23-month-old Alfie Evans in April 2018, Gard's parents said in a statement, "For those who have not been in a situation like this, it is impossible to understand the pain Tom and Kate [Alfie's parents] are going through."

Tafida's parents are issuing a petition asking the U.K. Parliament to force doctors to release her.

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