Father of boy in life-support treatment battle in new legal fight


The father of a brain-damaged boy at the centre of a life-support treatment battle has become embroiled in another legal fight after being barred from the London hospital where the youngster is being cared for.

Lanre Haastrup on Wednesday asked a High Court judge to overturn a ban imposed by bosses at King's College Hospital, where 12-month-old Isaiah Haastrup is being treated.

Lawyers representing hospital bosses told Mr Justice Newton, at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, that a ban had been imposed in the last few days and indicated that there had been concerns about Mr Haastrup's behaviour.

Mr Haastrup said he had done nothing wrong and told the judge that his son could die within days.

The judge is due to analyse evidence at a further hearing on Thursday.

Mr Haastrup has mounted a challenge in the Court of Appeal in London after another High Court judge decided that doctors could stop providing life-support treatment to Isaiah.

Mr Justice MacDonald had analysed Isaiah's case at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London in January.

Specialists at King's College Hospital said giving further intensive care treatment to the little boy was "futile, burdensome and not in his best interests".

They had asked Mr Justice MacDonald to give them the go-ahead to provide only palliative care.

Isaiah's mother, Takesha Thomas, and father - who are both in their mid-30s and from Peckham, south-east London - wanted treatment to continue.

Mr Justice MacDonald ruled in favour of hospital bosses.

But he said doctors should continue treating Isaiah until appeal judges had considered the case.

Mr Haastrup challenged Mr Justice MacDonald's ruling at a Court of Appeal hearing which began on Wednesday morning.

He said he thought that he could assemble new evidence about treatments which could help Isaiah.

Three appeal judges said they would deliver a ruling on Friday.

When that appeal hearing ended, Mr Haastrup made his way to the hearing before Mr Justice Newton, which was staged in another courtroom in the Royal Courts of Justice complex.

He told Mr Justice Newton that he had been notified of the ban in a letter earlier this week.

"I have a right to see my son," said Mr Haastrup.

"If he dies without me seeing him I would be irreparably damaged."

He said he had "done nothing wrong".

"I just had a conversation," he added.

"Certain people seem not to want to hear what I have to say."

Mr Haastrup said he had also been banned from the hospital late last year.

He said the ban had been lifted after he agreed to visit at certain hours accompanied by security staff.

But he told Mr Justice Newton that a ban had now been re-imposed.

Barrister Fiona Paterson, who is leading the trust's legal team, said bosses were trying to deal with the issue in a "humane way" while maintaining a calm atmosphere in the unit where Isaiah was being treated.

She said arrangements had been made to temporarily relax the ban so that Mr Haastrup could attend a meeting with doctors on Thursday.