Tafida Raqeeb: Parents’ bid to get daughter treated goes to High Court

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Tafida Raqeeb’s mother said her daughter was “completely healthy” before her sudden brain injury

A family’s fight to take their ill daughter to Italy for treatment will be heard at the High Court in September.

Royal London Hospital doctors said there was no hope Tafida Raqeeb, five, would recover from a brain injury, and that it was in her best interests to be allowed to die.

But clinicians at a hospital in Genoa, Italy, have offered her treatment.

The High Court will decide on whether to force the hospital to let her travel abroad during a week-long hearing.

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Tafida’s mother said her daughter was opening her eyes and moving her limbs

Tafida, from Newham, east London, suffered a traumatic brain injury in February and has been on life support ever since at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, part of Barts Health NHS Trust.

She is in a coma and suffering from a rare condition which causes a tangle of blood vessels with abnormal connections between the arteries and veins.

Her mother Shelina Begum claimed that before she suffered a trauma on 9 February Tafida was “completely healthy”.

Tafida was examined by two Italian clinicians via video link and they confirmed they would be willing to care for her.

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Tafida and her father Mohammed Raqeeb

However, doctors from Royal London “remained adamant” they would not allow the patient to leave, according to legal documents.

A spokesman for Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said that its clinicians and independent medical experts had found “further invasive medical treatment is futile”.

The trust has agreed to continue providing “life-sustaining” treatment to Tafida throughout proceedings.

Yogi Amin, a human rights lawyer representing the family, said there was “no evidence” Tafida would be harmed during transit or abroad.

Tafida’s family is also bringing a separate legal challenge, seeking a judicial review of the hospital’s refusal to allow them to remove Tafida and take her to Italy.

Both cases will be heard during the same hearing, Justice Macdonald said at a preliminary hearing on Monday.

Tafida’s case bears similarities to that of Charlie Gard, who died in July 2017 after his parents lost their legal battle to take him to the US for experimental treatment they hoped could give him a “meaningful life”.

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