A judge has ruled that a 12-year-old boy on life support will have treatment withdrawn, against the wishes of his parents, who are devout Christians.
The boy, identified only as “J” for legal reasons, was found hanging in his bedroom in April. He is reported to be suffering from “profound neurological injury” as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain. He subsequently contracted Covid-19 in hospital.
Doctors from Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust asked the High Court to decide upon what course of action was in the boy’s best interests. His parents vehemently opposed the Foundation’s application.
Mr Justice Hayden said the situation is “a case of almost unbearable sadness” but that “there is complete consensus amongst all the consultants” that continuing treatment would not be in the boy’s best interests. J’s most recent brain scan, taken in July, showed “distinct deterioration in the months that J has been in hospital”, he added that continued treatment is “prolonging J’s death and not saving his life”.
A lawyer for J’s family made a statement on their behalf. “The child’s parents want all steps to be taken and more time to allow for their son to recover from this injury”, a partner at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors told the press. “The legal decision to end treatment has been made by the court and the family will continue to pray to God for a miracle.”
In the UK, men of all ages are three times as likely to die by suicide than women. Suicide rates in the under-25s age category are on the rise.
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