Tafida Raqeeb is the latest case of a UK child being denied treatment abroad

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Tafida Raqeeb

Tafida Raqeeb has been diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, a rare condition which causes the blood vessels to have abnormal connections between the arteries and veins.

Tafida had a brain bleed on February 9 that has left her in coma in the Royal London Hospital where the doctors claim that there is no hope.

Doctors in Genoa, Italy state that they have an expertise in this condition, they are willing to treat Tafida, and “they suggest there is a good chance she will emerge from the coma she is in,” according to Ron Liddle of The Sun (a UK newspaper). But the Royal London Hospital is refusing to let the parents take Tafida to Genoa.

“The view of the doctors there is that they can do nothing more for her and that it would be better for her to be ­left to die,” Liddle writes.

Some people have compared this case to Charlie Gard whose parents found unsuccessfully to move him to an American hospital for experimental treatment.

Liddle argues that the decision by the Royal London Hospital is grotesque, arrogant and pig-headed. He states:

I can understand doctors telling Mohammed and Shelina [the parents] there is nothing more that they can do for their little girl. What is beyond belief — beyond ­imagination — is that they would insist on keeping the child there to die when there is genuine hope she might be cured.

It is all terribly similar to the case of Ashya King, an eight-year-old lad who had a brain tumour and was being treated at a hospital in Southampton.

The treatment he was receiving, his parents feared, threatened to cause grave brain damage and they instead wanted him to be treated via proton therapy in Prague.

The hospital said: “No, he stays here.” And so the parents, Brett and Naghemeh King, were forced to abduct the lad, sparking a Europe-wide manhunt. They were arrested in Spain . . . where Ashya also received treatment.

Five years later, he is cured. Free from cancer. No brain damage. The parents were right. The doctors were horribly wrong. Our medical professionals are, by and large, brilliant. But there is sometimes a grotesque arrogance and pigheadedness about them.

I am not a medical expert in this condition. But I do know that if there is hope for Tafida, the longer they wait to treat her, the less likely there will be a good outcome.

Sign the citizengo petition to let Tafida go and get the care that she needs.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.