Mother of sick baby in life-support battle prepares to put her case
A judge has been told how doctors and Isaiah Haastrup’s parents disagree over the 11-month-old’s ability to make an ’emotional connection’.
A woman fighting to stop doctors ending life-support treatment for her sick 11-month-old son is preparing to spell out her case to a judge.
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 is overseeing a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
Ms Thomas is scheduled to give evidence on Tuesday.
Doctors have told the judge that Isaiah suffered “catastrophic” brain damage due to being deprived of oxygen at birth.
They say Isaiah is in a low level of consciousness, cannot move or breathe independently and is connected to a ventilator.
Specialists and Isaiah’s parents disagree over Isaiah’s level of responsiveness.
Doctors say Isaiah does not respond to stimulation but they have told the judge how Ms Thomas thinks that he responds to her “face” and “touch”.
She says he is comforted when she cuddles him and when he hears her voice.
One specialist told Mr Justice MacDonald how she thought that Isaiah had no “emotional connection” with anyone.
“(He has) no smile, no perceived movement. No way that anyone can tell whether he is expressing any emotional connection,” said the specialist.
“There is definitely an emotional connection from mother to baby but whether there is an emotional connection from Isaiah to mother, I don’t know how you would ever be able to establish that.”
She said she had not seen Isaiah respond to Ms Thomas.
“I have never witnessed it,” said the specialist. “What mum has said, I have never seen it.”
The specialist said: “From Isaiah’s point of view, what is the point of having ventilation? He is alive but is he living?”
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 says the case can be reported but has ruled that medics involved in Isaiah’s care cannot be identified.
The hearing is expected to end later this week.