Health

Sick baby's condition 'will not improve', High Court told


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PA

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Isaiah, pictured with an aunt, has brain damage

An 11-month-old boy at the centre of a High Court life-support treatment fight is “profoundly disabled” and will not improve, a doctor has told a judge.

King’s College Hospital said giving further intensive care treatment to Isaiah Haastrup is “futile, burdensome and not in his best interests”.

Isaiah’s mother, Takesha Thomas, and father Lanre Haastrup, both 36 and from London, want treatment to continue.

Isaiah suffered “catastrophic” brain damage at birth due to lack of oxygen.

Mr Justice MacDonald is overseeing the case in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

A specialist treating Isaiah told the judge the boy was in a “low level of consciousness”, did not respond to stimulation and could not move independently.

“I have seen no significant change in Isaiah’s condition,” added the specialist.

“It is my opinion he will not improve.”

He described Isaiah as “profoundly disabled”, and said that he could not breathe independently.

‘No emotional connection’

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PA

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Isaiah Haastrup’s father Lanre Haastrup and mother Takesha Thomas arrive at the High Court in London

The court heard how Ms Thomas thought that Isaiah responded to her care.

“She feels that Isaiah responds to her face and to her touch,” a specialist said.

But the specialist told the court how she thought Isaiah had no “emotional connection” with anyone.

“[He has] no smile, no perceived movement. No way that anyone can tell whether he is expressing any emotional connection,” she said.

“There is definitely an emotional connection from mother to baby but whether there is an emotional connection from Isaiah to mother, I don’t know how you would ever be able to establish that.”

‘Ventilator-dependent’

The judge has ruled that medics involved in Isaiah’s care cannot be identified.

There was also evidence that suggested he was experiencing pain, the court was told.

Barrister Fiona Paterson, representing King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said Isaiah was “ventilator-dependent” and being cared for in a paediatric intensive care unit.

Doctors did not think there were any “further investigations or forms of treatment” which would benefit him, the court heard.

Ms Paterson said nobody could understand the suffering Isaiah’s parents had endured but “overwhelming medical evidence” showed that stopping treatment was in Isaiah’s best interests.

Isaiah was born at King’s College Hospital on 18 February 2017.

The hearing continues.



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