Muslim couple condemns court ruling allowing doctors to let their baby die

Midrar Ali

A Muslim couple have condemned a Court of Appeal ruling that doctors can stop providing medical treatment for their brain dead baby, Midrar Ali.

Appeal judges analysed evidence about the case of four-month-old Midrar, who was starved of oxygen when the umbilical cord came out ahead of his birth on September 18, after the High Court concluded that treatment could be withdrawn.

Midrar’s parents, Karwan Ali, 35, and Shokhan Namiq, 28, who live in Manchester, had asked appeal judges to overturn the ruling.

They said he was still growing and that doctors could not be sure that he would not improve, which meant more tests should be carried out.

Midrar’s father had argued his son had been showing “signs of life” and said the ruling was “terrible.”

Mr Ali said: “I’m just reading what the appeal judges have said, then we’ll discuss it with our lawyers. He’s still growing. They can’t be 100% sure he is dead. He’s still growing. His eyes move. I’ve seen them move.”

The family’s solicitor, David Foster, said Midrar’s parents were considering an appeal and would like the court to “give weight to experts from outside the UK.” The next step would be to take the case to the Supreme Court.

“They believe the law in this area should be reviewed and do not consider Midrar’s condition is necessarily irreversible,” Mr Foster said.

Appeal judges Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lord Justice Patten and Lady Justice King concluded that Midrar’s parents did not have an arguable case and declared that their son died at 20:01 GMT on October 1, when he would have been 14 days old.

Sir Andrew said evidence showed that “awfully” Midrar no longer has a “brain that is recognisable as such. There is no basis for contemplating that any further tests would result in a different outcome,” he said.

Doctors at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester said the baby should be allowed a “kind and dignified death.”

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs St Mary’s Hospital, previously said that Midrar has always been on a ventilator and has never breathed independently. It said his organs were deteriorating and continuing to treat Midrar was “undignified.”

Lawyers representing the hospital’s trust said three tests had confirmed brain stem death.

A spokesperson for the hospital trust said it “acknowledges the judgement made today and recognises that these are incredibly sad circumstances. Our thoughts remain with baby Midrar’s family at this very difficult time,” they added.

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