The tragic loss of life of Archie Battersbee is the newest in a sequence of circumstances which have pitted devastated dad and mom towards the UK’s court docket and healthcare system.
The 12-year-old now joins a heartbreaking listing that features Charlie Gard, Alta Fixsler and Alfie Evans: kids who, in the end, had life help withdrawn regardless of the pleas of their households.
Behind every one was the identical agonising – maybe unanswerable – query: what constitutes life and who ought to determine when it’s over?
Alfie Evans was simply 23 months outdated when he died in 2018 after docs in Liverpool stopped his therapy.
He had been in Alder Hey Childen’s Hospital for greater than a 12 months after struggling seizures. Doctors identified a degenerative neurological situation – though they’ve by no means been capable of establish it definitively – and he was positioned on air flow.
His dad and mom Tom Evans and Kate James from Bootle, Merseyside, needed to fly him to Rome for specialist therapy however this was blocked by Alder Hey with medics saying the therapy wouldn’t work and was “not in Alfie’s best interests”.
During a High Court listening to, the hospital introduced scans that confirmed “catastrophic degradation of his brain tissue” and claimed that additional therapy was not solely “futile” but additionally “unkind and inhumane”. They stated he ought to be allowed to die.
An exhaustive authorized course of adopted that additionally noticed the case seem earlier than the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights. Pope Francis intervened at one level and stated Alfie ought to be allowed to journey to Italy. Supporters – calling themselves Alfie’s Army – started gathering on the hospital day by day.
Nonetheless, the teenager’s life help was lastly withdrawn, and he died on 28 April 2018. His dad and mom maintained the mistaken resolution had been made.
Alfie Evans died at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital 5 days after life help was switched off
The case echoed that of Charlie Gard who had died lower than a 12 months earlier in July 2017, only a week wanting his first birthday.
He had been born with a uncommon type of mitochondrial illness and spent most of his life at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
By the time he died, he couldn’t open his eyes or transfer his limbs and was unable to breathe and not using a ventilator.
His dad and mom Connie Yates and Chris Gard, from west London, fought a five-month authorized battle for him to be taken to the US for experimental therapy along with his case drawing sympathy from then president Donald Trump. Some £1.3m was raised to fund the process, whereas a petition demanding the household be allowed to journey throughout the Atlantic was signed by 350,000 folks.
Doctors, nonetheless, had been satisfied the therapy couldn’t work and stated the child ought to be allowed to die in peace within the UK.
At the High Court, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights, judges agreed with the medics. He was finally moved to a hospice the place his life help was withdrawn.
Charlie Gard’s dad and mom fought an unsuccessful battle to take him to the US for therapy
Yet households do generally win these battles.
The household of severely disabled Tafida Raqeeb received a landmark case in 2019 that allowed them to take her to Italy for therapy after docs stated her life help ought to be withdrawn.
The lady, then 5 months outdated, had been positioned on air flow following a traumatic mind harm with docs at Royal London Hospital making use of to withdraw the help.
But mom Shelina Begum and father Mohammed Raqeeb received the following authorized battle on the High Court and had been permitted to fly to Genoa in October that 12 months.
Tafida Raqeeb remains to be alive in an Italian hospital practically three years after her dad and mom received a battle to take her overseas
Today, Tafida stays alive in hospital in Italy.
Speaking in March, Ms Begum stated: “The child they said would die in two weeks is still alive. I have let go, my anger has gone, but she is living proof that they were wrong and she was right.”