The boy's parents dispute physicians who say the infant is brain dead and can never recover. File Photo by Sfam_photo/Shutterstock/UPI

British court: Hospital can defy parents, remove infant's life support


Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A British appellate court ruled Friday that a hospital can remove artificial support systems that are keeping a four-month-old infant alive -- in a decision that goes against the wishes of the boy's parents.

The Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling last month that said life-support measures are futile because the child, Midrar Ali, is brain dead and cannot recover. Midrar's parents have been fighting St. Mary's Hospital in Manchester and the British Family Division of the High Court to keep their son alive -- disputing doctors' opinions that he will never improve.

Physicians say Midrar was irreparably harmed when complications deprived him of oxygen at birth -- an assessment the boy's parents reject.

"They can't be 100 percent sure he is dead," Karwan Ali said. "He's still growing. His eyes move. I've seen them move."

Friday's ruling said hospital tests were conclusive that Midrar's condition would not improve and he should be allowed a dignified death.

"In so far as the parents' argue that this case should have been determined on a 'best interests' basis, such analysis, could not, on the facts of this case, produce any other outcome but for the removal of the ventilator," the three-judge panel wrote in its decision.

A similar case is unfolding in Texas, where a state court of appeals is weighing whether to allow a Fort Worth-area hospital to end medical care for 11-year-old Tinslee Lewis -- who was born prematurely with a rare medical condition. Doctors have said she will not improve, but the child's mother argues that she ought to have final say over the child's treatment.

(0) Leave a comment

Latest Headlines

World News // 4 hours ago
Pompeo sets off for 1st Africa trip, visits security summit in Germany
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa Friday, where he will aid efforts to compete with the growing influence of China and fight threats of terrorism.

World News // 46 minutes ago
Oxygen therapy working for coronavirus patient, Seoul says
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Oxygen therapy has been effective in the treatment of a critically ill patient infected with the new strain of coronavirus in South Korea, local health authorities said Friday.

World News // 1 hour ago
Samsung heirs under probe for propofol abuse
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Two heirs of South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group are under investigation.

World News // 2 hours ago
Iran says U.S. behind large-scale infrastructure cyberattack
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A large-scale cyberattack last weekend that targeted Iranian infrastructure appeared to come from the United States, a senior civil defense leader in Tehran said.

World News // 2 hours ago
Paris mayoral candidate quits race amid sex video scandal
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Benjamin Griveaux, a candidate for mayor of Paris who'd been endorsed by French President Emmanuel Macron, withdrew from the race Friday amid a scandal involving an extramarital affair.

World News // 3 hours ago
British bank RBS changes name in evolution to 'purpose-led' operation
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The Royal Bank of Scotland announced Friday it will change its name to the NatWest Group later this year as part of efforts to distance itself from a substantial corporate bailout it received more than a decade ago.

World News // 8 hours ago
U.N. urges North Korea to release abductees in 50-year-old hijacking case
SEOUL, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A panel of human rights experts from the United Nations is calling on North Korea to repatriate 11 South Koreans who were abducted on a hijacked plane 50 years ago.

World News // 1 day ago
Coronavirus: Death toll hits 1,486 as Japan records first victim
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- China's Hubei Province on Friday announced an additional 4,823 new cases of COVID-19 over the previous 24-hours.

World News // 15 hours ago
Mark Esper: U.S., Taliban have negotiated seven-day reduction of violence
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Thursday that the United States has negotiated an agreement with the Taliban for seven days of reduced violence in Afghanistan.

World News // 21 hours ago
Controversial South Korea pundit receives suspended prison sentence
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A conservative South Korean commentator charged with creating falsified documents that framed pro-democracy activists as North Korean spies has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence.