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Parents of five-year-old Tafida Raqeeb launch legal bid to get daughter treated in Italy

Tafida Raqeeb
Tafida Raqeeb

A hospital is being accused of holding a sick five-year-old girl “against her will,” the High Court heard on Tuesday (16).

Parents of Tafida Raqeeb, who suffers from a rare form of brain disease, want to take her from the Royal Hospital London and move her to an Italian hospital, where they believe she would recover.

But the Royal Hospital London believes Tafida is beyond hope and it would be better to take her off life support.

Tafida, from Newham, east London, is suffering from a rare condition that causes a tangle of blood vessels with abnormal connections between the arteries and veins.

According to reports, Tafida was examined by two Italian clinicians via video link on Friday. They said they would be willing to care for Tafida and in Italy she would not satisfy the conditions of brain death.

Her mother, Shelina Begum, said she wants to explore all options to save Tafida.

“It is heartbreaking to see her like this and we just can’t give up on her if there is any chance she could survive,” she was quoted as saying by the BBC.

She states that Tafida was a healthy child before suffering a traumatic brain injury due to arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

A spokesman for Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “This is a very sad case, for which we are in close contact with the family to offer support.

“Our expert clinicians caring for the child have determined, in discussion with additional independent medical experts elsewhere in London, that further invasive medical treatment is futile.

“As such we are engaging with the family to ensure we uphold the child’s best interests, recommending withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment and instigating palliative care.”