Parents of brain-damaged baby set for appeal court fight

A baby at the centre of a treatment fight is still growing despite being declared “brain stem dead”, a lawyer representing the little boy’s parents has said.

Solicitor David Foster says four-month-old Midrar Ali is in an “unusual position” and that parents Karwan Ali and Shokhan Namiq, who live in Manchester, deserve support.

Court of Appeal judges are preparing to consider whether doctors should keep providing life-support treatment to Midrar.

A High Court judge last month concluded that the baby is brain dead.

Mrs Justice Lieven, who analysed evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in Manchester, ruled that life-support treatment could lawfully end and is in Midrar’s best interests.

Midrar’s parents want treatment to continue.

Midrar Ali court case
Parents Karwan Ali and Shokhan Namiq want treatment to continue for their four-month-old son Midrar (Pete Byrne/PA)

Mr Ali, a biomedical scientist, has described Mrs Justice Lieven’s ruling as “wrong”.

Three appeal judges, Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lord Justice Patten and Lady Justice King, are due to consider the case at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Wednesday.

“Baby Midrar is in an unusual position: tested as brain stem dead but growing in other facets,” said Mr Foster, who is based at law firm Barlow Robbins.

“The family deserve every support.”

Mrs Justice Lieven heard that Midrar had been starved of oxygen due to complications at birth and had been placed on a ventilator.

Bosses at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester asked the judge to rule that ventilation could lawfully be withdrawn so Midrar could be allowed a “kind and dignified death”.

Lawyers representing the hospital’s governing trust, the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said three tests confirmed brain stem death.

Mrs Justice Lieven said she had “no doubt” that Midrar was brain stem dead.

She said the medical evidence was clear and consistent.

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