Mother of brain-damaged boy says God, not doctors, should decide when he dies

A Pentecostal Christian whose brain-damaged 11-month-old son is at the centre of a life-support treatment battle has told a High Court judge that God, not doctors, should decide when the little boy dies.

Specialists at King's College Hospital in London say giving further intensive care treatment to Isaiah Haastrup is "futile, burdensome and not in his best interests". They say he is profoundly disabled, but can feel pain.

Isaiah's mother, Takesha Thomas, and father Lanre Haastrup, who are both 36 and from London, want treatment to continue.

Mr Justice MacDonald has been asked to make a decision and is analysing evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

King's College Hospital
King's College Hospital

Miss Thomas on Tuesday told the judge how she accepted that her son was severely disabled.

But she said his life was "worth preserving".

"I am a Pentecostal Christian," she said.

"For me, I don't think it is right to say who should live or who should die."

She added: "If God wants to take the person, He will."

Doctors have told the judge that Isaiah suffered "catastrophic" brain damage due to being deprived of oxygen at birth. The judge has heard that the little boy was born not breathing and without a heartbeat.

They say Isaiah is in a low level of consciousness, does not respond to stimulation, cannot move or breathe independently and is connected to a ventilator.

Miss Thomas told the judge that Isaiah responded to her.

"When I take him out for cuddles, when I sing to him, when I rock he feels sleepy in my arms," she said.

"When I speak to him he will respond, slowly, by opening one eye.

"When I speak to him I call his name. I say, 'Isaiah, it's mummy'. He will always give me a response to me by opening one eye."

She added: "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 Principal Registry of the Family Division
The Principal Registry of the Family Division

Barrister Fiona Paterson, who is representing King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust at hearings, has told Mr Justice MacDonald that Isaiah was born at King's College Hospital on February 18 2017.

She said nobody could understand the pain and suffering Isaiah's parents had endured.

But she said overwhelming medical evidence showed that stopping treatment was in Isaiah's best interests.

Mr Justice MacDonald is hearing evidence at a private trial.

He has said the case can be reported but has ruled that medics involved in Isaiah's care cannot be identified.

The hearing is expected to end on Wednesday.