Devastated parents of Tafida Raqeeb are left heartbroken after their seriously ill daughter is denied life. Tafida is a 5 year old girl who earlier this year suffered a traumatic brain injury and is on a life support machine in the Royal London Hospital.
Her parents want to move their daughter to Gaslini a children’s hospital in Italy who are willing to take care of her and continue with her treatment. However the Barts Health NHS Trust are denying the parents from doing this, as they feel it is not in her best interest and are refusing to release her. Her parents are now in a legal battle and the decision lies with the High court.
In Italy patients are only removed from life support in the event of brain stem death and this is in line with Tafida’s parents religious beliefs as Muslims.
As Islamic law has strict guidelines on death, death is defined by either the cessation of the heartbeat or irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.
Due to the above, scholarly consensus finds it impermissible to switch off Tafida’s life support and Tafida’s mother obtained a fatwa, a ruling from the Islamic Council of Europe which described the ordeal as a great sin and absolutely impermissible for anyone to consent to the removal of her life support.
Lawyers representing Tafida argue that the family are being denied her right to free movement under European Union law.
Tafida’s mother feels she has lost trust in UK doctors and does not feel she can leave her daughter in their care anymore. She feels her daughter is making little improvements daily and wants the Judge to give her daughter a chance to live.
The Italian hospital would continue providing life support and this would be a huge comfort to the family and is in Tafida’s best interest.
A human rights lawyer representing the family, Yogi Amin, said “there is no evidence to suggest that Tafida would be harmed during transit or abroad”.
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