Hospital Trust ask judge to dismiss bid to move brain-damaged child to Italy

Hospital bosses have called on a judge to dismiss a couple’s bid to move their brain-damaged daughter from London to Italy.

Mr Justice MacDonald has been told that five-year-old Tafida Raqeeb is in a minimally conscious state.

Doctors treating Tafida (pictured), who turned five on June 10, at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel say she has permanent brain damage and no chance of recovery.

Bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, want Mr Justice MacDonald to rule that stopping life-support treatment is in the youngster’s best interests.

Tafida’s parents, who live in Newham, east London, want to move her to Gaslini children’s hospital in Genoa, Italy, and have organised funding.

The couple say doctors there will keep providing life-support treatment until Tafida is diagnosed as being brain dead.

They say trust bosses are unlawfully discriminating against them by preventing a move to Italy.

But lawyers representing the trust say Tafida’s parents are trying to change the law.

Katie Gollop QC, who is leading the trust’s legal team, said medics and judges in England and Wales had a “legal duty” to put a child’s best interests, not parents’ wishes, first.

She told Mr Justice MacDonald that Tafida’s parents wanted the right to go to a country where they were the “sole decision makers”.

Miss Gollop said changing the law was a matter for Parliament not judges.

She said the judge should dismiss the couple’s claim and put Tafida’s “medical best interests” first

Mr Justice MacDonald has been told how Tafida woke her parents in the early hours in February complaining of a headache.

She collapsed shortly afterwards and doctors discovered that blood vessels in her brain had ruptured.

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