Father of brain-damaged baby condemns ‘terrible’ UK court ruling

Father of brain-damaged baby condemns ‘terrible’ UK court ruling

A couple who want doctors in the UK to keep providing life-support treatment to their brain-damaged baby have lost another legal battle.

Karwan Ali and Shokhan Namiq, who live in Manchester, had appealed after a High Court judge concluded that four-month-old Midrar was brain stem dead and said doctors could lawfully stop treating him.

But three Court of Appeal judges on Friday dismissed their challenge and declared that their son is dead.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lord Justice Patten and Lady Justice King ruled that medics could lawfully “cease to mechanically to ventilate” Midrar.

Karwan Ali and Shokhan Namiq lost their court challenge over life-support treatment for their four-month-old son Midrar (Pete Byrne/PA)
Karwan Ali and Shokhan Namiq lost their court challenge over life-support treatment for their four-month-old son Midrar (Pete Byrne/PA)

Mr Ali described the appeal judges’ decision as “terrible”.

Mrs Justice Lieven had initially analysed evidence at a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in Manchester in January.

She concluded that Midrar was brain stem dead and ruled that life-support treatment could lawfully end.

But Midrar’s parents wanted treatment to continue and had asked appeal judges to overturn Mrs Justice Lieven’s ruling.

Mr Ali said doctors could not be “100% sure” that Midrar was dead and wanted more tests.

He said Midrar was still growing.

The three appeal judges had analysed the case at a Court of Appeal hearing in London on Wednesday.

They concluded that Midrar’s parents did not have an arguable case and declared that Midrar is dead.

Sir Andrew, who is president of the Family Division of the High Court and the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, announced the decision at a further hearing on Friday.

He said evidence showed that “awfully” Midrar no longer has a “brain that is recognisable as such”.

“There is no basis for contemplating that any further tests would result in a different outcome,” he said.

He's still growing. They can't be 100% sure he is dead. He's still growing. His eyes move. I've seen them move

“The factual and medical evidence before (Mrs Justice Lieven) was more than sufficient to justify her findings.”

He added: “No other conclusion was open to Mrs Justice Lieven.”

Mr Ali said after the ruling: “It’s just terrible.”

He added: “I’m just reading what the appeal judges have said, then we’ll discuss it with our lawyers.

“He’s still growing. They can’t be 100% sure he is dead. He’s still growing. His eyes move. I’ve seen them move.”

Solicitor David Foster, who is based at law firm Barlow Robbins and represents Midrar’s parents, said: “The family are disappointed at the decision of the Court of Appeal and are considering an appeal.

“They believe the law in this area should be reviewed and do not consider Midrar’s condition is necessarily ‘irreversible’.”

He added: “They would like to have the court give weight to experts from outside the UK.”

Doctors at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Manchesteer had asked permission to withdraw ventilation (David Kendall/PA)
Doctors at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Manchesteer had asked permission to withdraw ventilation (David Kendall/PA)

Judges heard that Midrar was born on September 18.

They were told he had been starved of oxygen due to complications at birth, had suffered brain damage, and been placed on a ventilator.

Bosses at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester had asked Mrs Justice Lieven to rule that ventilation could lawfully be withdrawn but Midrar’s father, who is 35, and mother, 28, objected.

Lawyers representing the hospital’s governing trust, the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said three tests had confirmed brain stem death.

They said doctors had concluded that Midrar was brain stem dead in October.

Appeal judges accepted that evidence.

They declared that Midrar had died at 20.01 on October 1, when he would have been 14 days old.

More on this topic

Man who drove at off-duty garda banned from drivingMan who drove at off-duty garda banned from driving

‘I just hope I can go back to not being scared all the time’: Trespasser sexually assaulted 20-year-old woman‘I just hope I can go back to not being scared all the time’: Trespasser sexually assaulted 20-year-old woman

Man gets four years for violent robbery that left student with broken eye socket and noseMan gets four years for violent robbery that left student with broken eye socket and nose

Young man pleads guilty to sex with girl who is now his wifeYoung man pleads guilty to sex with girl who is now his wife

More in this Section

 Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak dies aged 91– state media Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak dies aged 91– state media

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak dies aged 91 – state mediaFormer Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak dies aged 91 – state media

Assange ‘handcuffed and stripped naked on first day of extradition hearing’Assange ‘handcuffed and stripped naked on first day of extradition hearing’

Vietnamese dissident Buddhist monk Thich Quang Do dies aged 91Vietnamese dissident Buddhist monk Thich Quang Do dies aged 91


Lifestyle

A S the Joker would say, ‘Why so Series X?’ But the next generation of the Xbox isn’t a joke for Microsoft, who have ground to make up on Sony in the console wars. The Redmond team disappointed this generation, making early mistakes that gave Sony all the momentum.GameTech: Get ready for the new Xbox

Cork actor Eanna Hardwicke may have grown up with a Young Offenders star, but he is set to make a name for himself with a string of big roles, writes  Esther McCarthyEanna Hardwicke: Cork actor about to burst onto the big screen

Should we be putting haemorrhoid cream around our eyes? Short answer... Absolutely not.The Skin Nerd: Are celebrity skincare tips all a load of Bullocks?

Peter Dowdall reports on how Blarney Castle's famous yew has bewitched onlookers for six centuriesBewitched: Help Ireland's most popular tree get the vote in Europe

More From The Irish Examiner