Nigerian Lawyer Battles London Hospital To Save Brain-damaged Son

Nigerian Lawyer Battles London Hospital To Save Brain-damaged Son
Lanre Haastrup and wife, Takesha Thomas (Photo Credit: The Guardian UK)

A Nigerian who is a lawyer, Lanre Haastrup, is currently battling King’s College hospital to save his brain-damaged 11-month-old son, who is on life-support machine.

The UK Guardian reports that Haastrup has accused the King’s College hospital of “rushing to kill” his brain-damaged son by switching off life-support before he has had the chance to appeal in court.

The grieving father says his son, Isaiah has the right to appeal the ruling of the high court that says it was in the boy’s best interests for treatment to be withdrawn.

“Why are you in a rush to kill him? Wait. Once you kill him, that’s the end. You can’t bring him back,” he said.

The court’s decision as delivered by Justice MacDonald said Isaiah is in a low level of consciousness, cannot move or breathe independently and is connected to a ventilator.

Isaiah’s sad condition

Isaiah, it was reported, suffered “catastrophic” brain damage due to being deprived of oxygen at birth. He has since been surviving with the aid of a ventilator, a life-support machine in the King’s College hospital, London.

Court refuses permission to appeal

Isaiah’s father and his mother, Takesha Thomas, had indicated their wish to see treatment and life support continue.

Hence, Isaiah’s parents had indicated their wished to appeal Justice McDonald’s judgment but the judge reportedly refused permission to appeal saying there were not strong grounds for appeal nor a strong likelihood of success.

The judge also went ahead to order doctors to continue treatment of Isaiah until 2pm on Friday, February 2, 2018 to allow Isaiah’s father to make an application directly to the court of appeal.

Lack of funds have seen Haastrup representing his son in court

As a result of the family’s financial inability to engage the services of a lawyer, Haastrup, who is a trained lawyer, took it upon himself to represent his son.

Haastrup told The Guardian that the family did not have legal aid and could not afford legal representation.

Sadly, Haastrup, who said he was ill with flu missed the 2pm deadline to make an appeal on Friday, February 2, 2018.

In any event, he said, he understood the law allowed him 14 days in which to lodge an appeal, which would not expire until February 12, 2018.

Haastrup also said he was drawing up a formal application for permission to submit his appeal this week, which can only be granted if there are errors in law or fact in the original judgment.

NHS to withdraw Isaiah from Ventilator

The King’s College hospital NHS foundation trust had on Friday afternoon informed Haastrup that as the deadline had expired, it was now lawful for the trust to withdraw Isaiah’s ventilation and provide him with palliative care only, and therefore treatment would be withdrawn on Monday, February 5, 2018.

A spokesman for the trust said: “This is an extremely difficult time for Isaiah’s parents but we cannot comment on Mr Haastrup’s appeal – that is a matter for Mr Haastrup. The decision handed down on Monday 29th January, following a three-day hearing, ruled that it was in Isaiah’s best interests to transfer him to palliative care. We are trying to engage with the family regarding Isaiah’s transfer and will continue to offer them our support.”

Haastrup still fighting to stop the order with an appeal

On Saturday, February 3, 2018, Haastrup had reportedly made a telephone application to an appeal court judge for an extension to the stay.

Haastrup claimed the judge allegedly told him: “Go and grieve, go and grieve. Let him die,” after hearing details of the appeal.

A sad and grieving Haastrup makes a final appeal saying: “What I am saying to them is hold off for a few days. Let’s find out what the court of appeal says. What is wrong with that? I don’t think the public will say it is wrong for that to happen.

“Forget me grieving. I’ve been grieving for the past 11 months, seeing my son in that state. Forget the grieving part. What we are dealing with here is the issue of the law, and the law says you have a right of appeal with 14 days,” he said.

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