Tafida Raqeeb: Parents win fight to take disabled five-year-old abroad for treatment


Tafida Raqeeb
Tafida Raqeeb

PARENTS of a severely disabled five-year-old girl today (3) won a fight to take her to Italy for treatment.

Tafida Raqeeb has been on life support at the Royal London Hospital since February after suffering a traumatic brain injury.

While her parents have organised funding to take her to the Gaslini children’s hospital in Genoa, Italy, specialists in UK believe any further treatment would be futile.

Shelina Begum, Tafida’s mother and Mohammed Raqeeb, her father, said doctors in Italy would keep providing life-support treatment until their daughter was diagnosed as brain dead.

Tafida’s family is Muslim and as per Islam only God could end a life.

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 in July and they said they would be willing to care for Tafida. In Italy she would not satisfy the conditions of brain death.

In his ruling, Justice MacDonald found that “where a child is not in pain and is not aware of his or her parlous situation, these cases can place the objective best interests test under some stress”.

“Tests must be looked for in subjective or highly value laden ethical, moral or religious factors… which mean different things to different people in a diverse, multicultural, multi-faith society,” he said.

Following the ruling, Raqeeb said the couple were “thrilled by the judgement”.

Their barrister David Lock QC said the ruling was an “enormous relief” for the couple. The family now wanted to get on with the transfer, said Lock.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the Royal London Hospital, said they would consider appealing against the ruling.