Judges decides: Tafida Raqeeb can go to Italy for treatment

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Great news.

Last July I wrote about Tafida Raqeeb, a five-year-old who had a brain bleed on February 9 that left her in coma. Tafida was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, a rare condition which causes the blood vessels to have abnormal connections between the arteries and veins. Doctors at the Royal London Hospital claimed that she had no hope.

But doctors in Genoa, Italy stated that they had an expertise in this condition and were willing to treat Tafida. But the Royal London Hospital is refusing to let the parents take Tafida to Genoa.

Tafida’s parents have won the legal battle enabling them to bring Tafida to Genoa for treatment. According to the article by Jamie Johnson in The Telegraph:

Mr. Justice MacDonald, who had analysed evidence at a recent High Court trial in London, approved a move to Italy in a ruling delivered on Thursday.

Tafida’s mother, Shalina Begum, told The Telegraph

“We have always had Tafida’s best interests at heart and we have never wanted to come to court to have to argue for our rights to seek continued care in a world-class hospital willing to give her the treatment she needs,” she said.

“The entire experience of having to fight for our daughter’s life over the last three months has been exhausting and traumatic for all of her family.”

She added: “It is vital for Tafida that she is removed from the Royal London Hospital and transferred to the Gaslini … at the earliest opportunity. This is our priority for Tafida.”

Similar cases in the UK did not end with the transfer but rather the death of the children involved. Hopefully this case will open the door to other families having the opportunity to receive treatment in other jurisdictions even when British medical experts consider the child to be futile.

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