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UK High Court to hear case on medical treatment of Tafida Raqeeb

The High Court has agreed to hear in September a bid from the parents of Tafida Raqeeb to take her to Italy for treatment. The five-year-old girl has been comatose since February, and UK doctors want to remove her life-sustaining treatment.

The UK doctors have barred Raqeeb’s parents from taking her abroad for treatment.

Two doctors from the Gaslini Children’s Hospital in Genoa examined Raqeeb via video link earlier this month, and they agreed to care for her in Italy. They said they did not believe her to be brain dead.

Bishop John Sherrington, an auxiliary bishop of Westminster and the English and Welsh bishops’ representative on life issues, said July 18 that “Difficult dilemmas have to be faced. In that process, I hope that all due weight will be given to the wishes of her parents, while also respecting the clinical judgement of the doctors caring for her. Those of us not in possession of all the relevant information might best be reserved in our judgement.”

Raqeeb’s parents, Mohammed Raqeeb and Shelina Begum, asked the High Court in London July 16 to allow her to leave the country; its decision to hear the case was made July 22.

The court will hold a week-long hearing on Raqeeb’s case. They will also review the refusal of Royal London Hospital to allow her to be removed and taken to Italy.

Raqeeb suffered an arteriovenous malformation which resulted in a burst blood vessel in her brain, and has been in a coma since Feb. 9.

The AVM triggered cardiac and respiratory arrest, as well as a traumatic brain injury. Doctors at the Royal London Hospital say there is no chance she will recover from her coma, and declared any further medical treatment futile.

Bishop Sherrington wrote that “I trust that the doctors from the Gaslini Children’s Hospital in Genoa will be given time and opportunity to come to a well-informed view and to share their prognosis with their colleagues here in London.”

“Such international cooperation is essential good practice in the care of tragically difficult lives.”

The bishop also offer prayers for strength for Raqeeb and her parents.

Read more at Catholic News Agency 

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