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UK Doctors Ban Father from Seeing Child Who Is ‘As Near to Death As Possible to Get’

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JACK MONTGOMERY

British doctors have banned a father from visiting his desperately ill baby in hospital, claiming he was verbally abusive during a dispute over whether the boy’s life support should be withdrawn.

In a case which echoes the tragic story of baby Charlie Gard, who died in hospital after Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital refused to let his parents transfer him to the United States or the Vatican for experimental treatment at their own expense, doctors are insisting that Isaiah Haastrup must be allowed to die, while father Lanre Haastrup, who is a lawyer, disagrees.

“If he dies without me seeing him that would be irreparable damage”, Mr Haastrup told the Court of Appeal, which ruled in favour of the King’s College Hospital.

Physicians say baby Isaiah suffered severe brain damage during a complicated labour — which the hospital admits it is partly responsible for, due to “specific issues in monitoring” during the process.

“We apologise unreservedly for this,” the hospital said in a statement. “Our priority is [Isaiah’s] care, and quality of life. … We have sought a number of external experts who agree with our clinical finding.”

The hospital’s clinical finding is that the boy is “as near death as it is possible to get”, and that he is not responding to stimulation — but mother Takesha Thomas disagrees.

“When I speak to him he will respond, slowly, by opening one eye,” she insisted.

“I see a child who is injured. He needs love. He needs care. I have it. I can give it,” she added.

Isaiah’s father believed the baby should be given the chance to undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy and deep brain stimulation, and denies he verbally abused hospital staff, telling judges he merely had a conservation with staff “like I am having with you now, but certain people don’t like what I am saying.”

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