Mother tells court: Little boy’s life support must continue
Isaiah Haastrup is profoundly disabled but can feel pain, experts said.
A woman fighting to stop doctors ending life-support treatment for her sick 11-month-old son has told a judge that the little boy’s life is “worth preserving”.
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 was asked by barrister Ian Wise QC, who is leading her legal team, on Tuesday: “Do you think Isaiah’s has a life worth preserving?”
She replied: “I do.”
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.
Doctors say Isaiah does not respond to stimulation.
But Ms 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 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.”
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 said 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.