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Parents of baby who started trying to breathe after doctors decided he was dead lose court fight

Parents of baby who started trying to breathe after doctors decided he was dead lose court fight

The parents came to blows with medics about the four-month-old's care.

A High Court has ruled against the parents of a terminally ill baby who attempted to breathe after being declared brain stem dead by doctors.

The boy, who is four months old, is being treated at a London hospital trust, where his parents came into dispute with medics about his life support, ITV News reports.

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust said that the child, identified only as 'A' in the court papers, was brain stem dead and his life support treatment should be stopped.

However, his parents disputed this conclusion after a nurse saw him attempt to breathe independently over a week after the declaration was made.

The Royal Court of Justice in London.
Alamy / Greg Vivash

Mr Justice Hayden was asked to rule what was in the baby's best interests and stood by the 'the clinical ascertainment of death'.

He ruled that medical ventilation should be withdrawn for the boy and only end-of-life care should be provided.

The hospital was represented by Barrister David Lawson who said the baby had suffered a 'devastating' brain injury and the hospital was therefore recommending palliative care.

A specialist added that all possible treatment avenues for the infant had been exhausted.

Justice Hayden told the baby's parents after his ruling: "I am so sorry."

A young baby's feet.
Alamy / Dobino

However, the boy's parents indicated that they want him to remain on ventilation despite his prognosis and Justice Hayden's ruling.

The parents believe that their son's attempts to breathe were a miracle. A doctor treating the boy said she had 'never seen it' before.

"I think it must be just beyond comprehension (for the parents)," she said. "That doctors looking after their baby can have made what appears to be such a horrible error.

"I don't know in all honesty whether there are other cases like this," the doctor said.

"We are currently reviewing it as professionals."

She then broke down in tears about the situation and added: "I can only say I am terribly sorry for what has happened.

"It has only made a very difficult situation event more difficult."

The doctor explained that if the baby remained on a ventilator, he would eventually go into cardiac attest and would not be resuscitated.

"The little human being that he was. He is no longer.

"We have still got his body here, but the little person he was is no longer.

"He should be allowed to go."

Featured Image Credit: sarah sartori / incamerastock /Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Health