13:43, March 06 118 0 theguardian.com

2018-03-06 13:43:04
European court rejects appeal in Isaiah Haastrup life support case

An 11th-hour appeal to European court judges by the father of the profoundly brain-damaged baby Isaiah Haastrup to try to prevent doctors from withdrawing his son’s life-sustaining treatment has failed.

The European court of human rights ruled inadmissible the appeal to overturn a UK court ruling that the one-year-old can be removed from the ventilator that has kept him alive since birth.

Three ECHR judges made the ruling on Tuesday after treating the case as a priority. The court said the decision was final.

Isaiah cannot breathe or move independently after suffering “catastrophic” brain injuries due to oxygen deprivation at birth. He is ventilator-dependent, has a profoundly depressed level of consciousness, is blind, deaf and suffers from dystonia, which may be causing pain, according to medical experts from five hospitals who have examined him.

King’s College Hospital NHS foundation trust won a legal fight to remove Isaiah from life support in January. Mr Justice MacDonald, a judge in the family division of the high court, said it was in Isaiah’s best interests.

MacDonald said the parents’ evidence that Isaiah responded to his mother’s voice and touch was influenced by “the flattering voice of hope”.

Last week at the court of appeal Isaiah’s father, Lanre Haastrup, 36, who works for a legal firm, argued for life-support to continue so that other treatments including hyperbaric oxygen therapy could be explored.

A panel of three judges refused permission to appeal, ruling he had failed to show evidence that alternative treatments could improve his son’s condition.

Haastrup made an emergency application to the ECHR last week, which was treated as an urgent matter.

On Tuesday the court declared that the application was inadmissible, “finding that there was not appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set out in the European convention on human rights”.

Haastrup has said he would regard it as murder if King’s College hospital in London withdrew ventilation support leading to his son’s death.