Tafida Raqeeb: Brain-damaged girl’s mum ‘doesn’t trust UK doctors’

UK
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Tafida RaqeebImage copyright Family Handout
Image caption Tafida Raqeeb’s parents want to move her to a children’s hospital in Genoa, Italy

The mother of a brain-damaged girl has told a judge she no longer trusts UK doctors to care for her daughter.

Medics treating Tafida Raqeeb believe the five-year-old will not recover and want judges to rule that stopping her life-support is in her best interests.

However, the girl’s parents want to move her to Gaslini children’s hospital in Genoa, Italy, to continue treatment.

Her mother Shelina Begum told London’s High Court: “I just don’t want any doctors in the UK to treat Tafida.”

Giving evidence, Ms Begum, a solicitor who lives in Newham, east London, said: “The trust between doctors and myself has come to a complete end, therefore I just cannot leave my daughter in their care any more.”

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Tafida’s mother said her daughter was improving “every day”

She told the court her daughter was improving “every day” and “clearly knows my presence”.

Tafida collapsed in February after complaining about a headache and doctors found blood vessels in her brain had ruptured.

The hearing, which is being overseen by Mr Justice MacDonald, was shown a video of Tafida in the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel where the fingers on her right hand curl and uncurl, and her arm moves up her body.

Ms Begum said her daughter made “little movements… every single day”, and pleaded with the judge to give her daughter “a chance” to “keep fighting on”.

“I want my daughter, whatever life she has left, I want my daughter to continue to live that life,” she said.

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Tafida and her father Mohammed Raqeeb

Representatives for Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, have told the court that the girl has “no awareness” and moving her would not be in her “medical best interests”.

Lawyers representing Tafida have argued she is being denied her right to free movement under European Union law.

The case is due to continue at the High Court until Friday.

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