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Judge set to oversee life-support dispute centred on five-year-old girl

Tafida Raqeeb’s parents want to move her to a hospital in Italy but doctors in London think treatment should stop

Undated family handout photo of Tafida Raqeeb
Undated family handout photo of Tafida Raqeeb

By Brian Farmer, PA

A High Court judge is preparing to analyse evidence in a life-support dispute centred on a seriously-ill five-year-old girl.

Mr Justice MacDonald has heard that Tafida Raqeeb “very serious” brain damage.

Doctors treating Tafida, who turned five on June 10, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel say the damage is permanent and and there is no chance of recovery.

Bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, think stopping “life-sustaining treatment” is in the youngster’s best interests.

Tafida’s mother, solicitor Shelina Begum, and father Mohammed Raqeeb, a construction consultant, want to move her to Gaslini children’s hospital in Genoa, Italy, and have organised funding for treatment.

The couple, from Newham, east London, say Gaslini is the Italian equivalent of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, specialists there are willing to treat their daughter, and want the judge to rule that she can move to Genoa.

Mr Justice MacDonald is due to begin overseeing a trial at the High Court in London on Monday.

PA

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