Couple who want doctors to keep treating severely-disabled baby son await High Court ruling

A couple who want doctors to keep treating their severely-disabled baby son are waiting for a ruling by a High Court judge.

Sunday, 14th October 2018, 4:41 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th October 2018, 5:53 pm

Ms Justice Russell analysed a dispute centred on the two-month-old boy at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Friday.

She is expected to announce her decision in the near future.

Specialists said the little boy was suffering near-continuous seizures and should be allowed to die.

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They said he had a very severe brain abnormality, was in a "poor condition", and should get palliative care only.

But his mother begged Ms Justice Russell not to allow doctors to stop providing life-support treatment.

She said her son should have "every chance he can".

The little boy is being treated at a hospital in the north of England but the judge says journalists must not reveal his identity or name the NHS trust with responsibility for his care.

Specialists say the little boy, who weighs 3.5 kilograms - about seven-and-a-half pounds, has a very severe brain abnormality and is in a "poor condition".

They told how he suffered near-continuous seizures which were resistant to treatment.

One doctor told Ms Justice Russell that the little boy had a low level of awareness but could feel pain and had been seen to grimace.

Specialists said the burdens of treatment outweighed the benefits.

But the woman said her son responded to her and his father.

She said her son ought to get help with breathing, resuscitation attempts should be made, and drugs tried.

"I want my little boy to get every chance he can have," she said.

"I know he has only got a short life but I just want everything to be tried."

Ms Justice Russell was told that the woman, who was not in court but gave evidence via a screen link, slept in the same room as her baby and had been at his side for almost every hour of his life.