Saturday, 21 Sep 2019

UN speaker says ‘lives of children are not always respected in UK’

Human rights advocate says ‘the lives of children are not always respected in the UK’ as United Nations wades into case of severely ill schoolgirl Tafida Raqeeb

  • UN’s human rights council heard there was a ‘lack of will’ to save sick children
  • Spanish human rights advocate Ruben Navarro also spoke about Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard who both died in infancy after court battles 
  • A UN spokesman said the council had not officially endorsed Mr Navarro but it could potentially take his presentation into account 

The case of severely ill schoolgirl Tafida Raqeeb was brought up at the United Nations to support claims that ‘the lives of children are not always respected in the UK’

The case of severely ill schoolgirl Tafida Raqeeb was brought up at the United Nations to support claims that ‘the lives of children are not always respected in the UK’.

A session of the UN’s human rights council in Geneva heard there was a ‘lack of will’ in Britain to save sick children. 

Ruben Navarro, a Spanish human rights advocate, told the council: ‘Even though Tafida has brain activity, breathes independently, opens her eyes and communicates with her parents, her doctors have decided it is better to take her life.

‘It is a problem of lack of will. As [with] Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard, these are examples of the fact that the lives of children are not always respected in the UK.’

Alfie and Charlie both died in infancy after court battles over what treatment they should receive. 

A High Court judge is currently considering whether doctors should save the brain-damaged five-year-old who suffered a burst blood vessel in her head in February. 

Her parents have begged the court to save their daughter.

But Royal London Hospital has asked the court to sanction switching off her life-support machine.      

In a bitter blow to her parents’ desperate battle to save her, Tafida’s court-appointed guardian sided with doctors yesterday and said it would be kinder to let her die, saying: ‘Tafida is not going to get better.’


A High Court judge is currently considering whether doctors should save the brain-damaged five-year-old. Her parents have begged the court to save their daughter

Tafida’s mother, solicitor Shelina Begum, 39, and construction consultant father Mohammed Raqeeb, 45, have begged the court to save their daughter, who they say responds to their presence.

She was struck down with a burst blood vessel in her brain on February 9. 

Her parents say she may come out of her coma, given more time, but the Royal London Hospital has asked the court to sanction switching off her life-support machine.

Tafida’s plight was raised at the UN’s human rights council on Wednesday by Rubén Navarro, a Spanish human rights advocate in Geneva who has been following the case.

A UN spokesman said the council had not officially endorsed Mr Navarro but said it could potentially take his presentation into account next time it performed a UN ‘review’ of human rights in the UK

He told the council, which investigates human rights violations around the world: ‘Even though Tafida has brain activity, breathes independently, opens her eyes and communicates with her parents, her doctors have decided that it is better to take her life.

‘It is a problem of lack of will. As in the cases of Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard, these are examples of the fact that the lives of children are not always respected in the UK, nor the will of the parents, nor the opportunity to receive medical treatment.’

He added: ‘Today we advocate saving the life of Tafida before they let her die. In a few days, it will be too late. From the UN human rights council in Geneva, we ask for justice.’

A UN spokesman said the council had not officially endorsed Mr Navarro but said it could potentially take his presentation into account next time it performed a UN ‘review’ of human rights in the UK.

Yesterday Katie Gollop QC, for Barts NHS Trust which runs the hospital, said the schoolgirl had ‘no prospect of recovery’ and more treatment would be ‘harmful and inhumane’.

She added: ‘The trust wishes to say to her parents how very, very, very sorry it is about what happened to Tafida, and it knows how much dedication, love and devotion they have shown to her.’

The five-day trial ended yesterday with Mr Justice MacDonald saying he will rule on Tafida’s fate in the week of September 30.

The judge said: ‘I am sorry to the parents that I can’t give you a decision today, but I have to go away and think very carefully about everything I have been told.’

Source: Read Full Article

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