Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A British appellate court ruled Friday that a hospital can remove artificial support systems that are keeping a four-month-old infant alive -- in a decision that goes against the wishes of the boy's parents.
The Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling last month that said life-support measures are futile because the child, Midrar Ali, is brain dead and cannot recover. Midrar's parents have been fighting St. Mary's Hospital in Manchester and the British Family Division of the High Court to keep their son alive -- disputing doctors' opinions that he will never improve.
Physicians say Midrar was irreparably harmed when complications deprived him of oxygen at birth -- an assessment the boy's parents reject.
"They can't be 100 percent sure he is dead," Karwan Ali said. "He's still growing. His eyes move. I've seen them move."
Friday's ruling said hospital tests were conclusive that Midrar's condition would not improve and he should be allowed a dignified death.
"In so far as the parents' argue that this case should have been determined on a 'best interests' basis, such analysis, could not, on the facts of this case, produce any other outcome but for the removal of the ventilator," the three-judge panel wrote in its decision.
A similar case is unfolding in Texas, where a state court of appeals is weighing whether to allow a Fort Worth-area hospital to end medical care for 11-year-old Tinslee Lewis -- who was born prematurely with a rare medical condition. Doctors have said she will not improve, but the child's mother argues that she ought to have final say over the child's treatment.