Tafida Raqeeb’s parents express ‘relief’ following judgment
The parents of a critically ill five-year-old British girl have won a High Court legal challenge allowing them to take their daughter to Italy for specialist treatment.
Tafida Raqeeb, from Newham, East London, has been in a coma since February after suffering a traumatic brain injury.
Doctors at Royal London Hospital had recommended that Tafida’s life sustaining treatment be withdrawn.
A member of Tafida’s family, who cannot be named for legal reasons, instructed specialist human rights lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to launch a legal challenge against Barts Health NHS Trust’s decision not to allow Tafida’s parents to take her to a hospital in Genoa.
A judicial review was held in September. Judgment has been today handed down today in favour of the family.
The ruling means Tafida can now be transferred, alongside an expert medical team, to Gaslini children’s hospital in Genoa.
Expert Opinion“There are no winners in a case like this, but the family are relieved they are now a step closer to taking Tafida to Italy for treatment.
“The court had to consider whether the hospital had a legal right to detain a child and prevent parents from transferring their child to private medical care abroad.
“In the wake of strong legal arguments, the court agreed the parents should not be prevented from seeking alternative medical care abroad. A hospital in Genoa has confirmed it is willing to continue Tafida’s care and has the expertise to do so. The Italian hospital has confirmed that Tafida will not have her life sustaining treatment withdrawn in her current condition under Italian law.
“I am pleased to have fought for a judgement from the high court which clarifies a complex area of law. At the heart of this, there is still a very poorly little girl. Everyone has Tafida’s best interests at heart. Tafida’s family would like to thank the public for their support in what remains a very distressing time for the family.”
Mathieu Culverhouse - Partner
Tafida suffers from a rare condition which causes a tangle of blood vessels with abnormal connections between the arteries and veins and suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result. She was apparently completely healthy before her injury.