Making Decisions for Children-Accommodating Parental Choice in Best Interests Determinations: Barts Health NHS Trust v Raqeeb [2019] EWHC 2530 (Fam); Raqeeb and Barts Health NHS Trust [2019] EWHC 2531 (Admin)

Emma Cave, Joe Brierley, David Archard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Four-year-old Tafida Raqeeb suffered a sudden and catastrophic brain injury resulting from a rare condition. UK doctors would not agree to a transfer of Tafida to a hospital in Italy in circumstances that they considered to be contrary to her best interests. Her parents applied for judicial review of the hospital decision and the hospital Trust applied for a determination of Tafida's best interests. The cases were heard together. The High Court ruled that Tafida could be taken to Italy for treatment. Applying the best interests test, Mr Justice MacDonald found that Tafida was not in pain and ongoing treatment would not be a burden to her. Further treatment would comply with the religious beliefs of her parents. The case is specific to its facts, but MacDonald J's interpretation of the best interests test is likely to have implications. In particular, we explore the separation of medical and overall best interests; the recognition of the relevance of international laws and frameworks to best interests determinations; and reliance not on what Tafida could understand and express but on what she might in future have come to believe had she followed her parents' religious beliefs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183–196
JournalMedical Law Review
Volume28
Issue number1
Early online date17 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 17 Dec 2019

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