Brain-damaged boy's parents lose life support treatment fight

The parents of a brain-damaged boy being cared for at a London hospital have lost a life support treatment fight.

Specialists at King's College Hospital said giving further intensive care treatment to 11-month-old Isaiah Haastrup is "futile, burdensome and not in his best interests".

They wanted the go-ahead to provide only palliative care.

Isaiah's mother Takesha Thomas and father Lanre Haastrup, who are both 36 and from Peckham, south-east London, wanted treatment to continue.

A judge has ruled that doctors can stop providing life support treatment.

Isaiah Haastrup with his aunt Dahlia Thomas (Irwin Mitchell/PA)
Isaiah Haastrup with his aunt Dahlia Thomas (Irwin Mitchell/PA)

Mr Justice MacDonald announced his decision on Monday in Birmingham after analysing evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London earlier this month.

Barrister Fiona Paterson, who has represented King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust at hearings, had told Mr Justice MacDonald how Isaiah was born at King's College Hospital on February 18 2017 and was severely disabled.

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.

Doctors told the judge that Isaiah suffered "catastrophic" brain damage due to being deprived of oxygen at birth.

They said Isaiah was in a low level of consciousness, could not move or breathe independently and was connected to a ventilator.

Doctors said Isaiah did not respond to stimulation.

But Miss Thomas told the judge: "When I speak to him he will respond, slowly, 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."

Mr Haastrup had fought back tears at the trial as he outlined a series of complaints about the hospital to Mr Justice MacDonald.

He said the trust had "harmed" Isaiah at birth, told the judge that a "negligence case" was under way and complained about the way he had been treated.

"There have been failings," he said. "But for them Isaiah would be at home having a lovely meal with me, with his lovely mum, playing around."

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.