Doctors given go-ahead to end life of brain-damaged young girl in ‘heart-rending’ case

A High Court judge has given doctors the go-ahead to end the life of a brain-damaged six-year-old girl who has been at the centre of a long-running treatment fight.

Mr Justice Poole has approved a plan, drawn up by specialists, to withdraw treatment from Pippa Knight, who is in a vegetative state at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London.

He said Pippa’s mother, Paula Parfitt (pictured) – who thinks the little girl should leave hospital and wanted specialists to stage a home care trial, had exhausted legal options.

The judge had ruled in January, following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, that doctors could lawfully stop providing life-support treatment and allow Pippa to die.

He concluded that Pippa was being burdened by treatment but getting no benefit, and said ending life-support was in her best interests.

Ms Parfitt, 41, from Strood, Kent, has mounted a series of challenges.

But she failed to persuade judges in the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights to overturn Mr Justice Poole’s ruling.

Hospital bosses responsible for Pippa’s care returned to court late on Thursday to ask for approval for a plan to withdraw treatment.

Mr Justice Poole, who oversaw an online hearing, said there should be no further delay.

The judge, who heard that Pippa’s father is dead, has described the case as “heart-rending”.

Pippa was born on April 20 2015 and had initially developed normally, but in December 2016 she became unwell and began to suffer seizures, the judge heard.

Doctors had diagnosed acute necrotising encephalopathy.

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