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Bishop John Sherrington comments on Tafida Raqeeb Ruling

By Katie Ascough - 04 October, 2019


Royal Courts of Justice, London, UK; Photo by Rafa Esteve under creative commons licence.

Tafida Raqeeb, aged five, sustained severe brain damage from bleeding in February 2019.

Though her parents wished to take their daughter to a hospital in Italy to continue life support, Tafida’s doctors in London had different views.

Barts Health stated regarding their care of Tafida at the Royal London Hospital:

“This is a very sad medical case and difficult for everyone involved … Our expert clinicians caring for Tafida considered … that further medical treatment would not improve her condition and would not be in her best interests.”

Subsequently, Tafida’s case was brought to the High Court, and only yesterday did Justice MacDonald rule in favour of Mr and Mrs Raqeed.

According to thesun.co.uk, the child’s lawyer, Vikram Sachdever, told the High Court: “[Tafida’s parents] believe all treatment must be provided and it’s for God to take life, not mankind.”

In an emotional public address, Mrs Raqeed stated: “Our beautiful daughter, Tafida, is not dying, and we are continuously seeing small but important signs that she is gradually improving … The entire experience of having to fight for our daughter’s life over the last three months has been exhausting and traumatic for all of my family members.”

Commenting on the court ruling, Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, stated:

“I welcome [the] ruling which has taken account of the wishes of Tafida’s parents and their innate urge to do all they can to help their daughter in what are truly tragic circumstances. The heart-breaking illness of Tafida Raqeeb and the distress which the illness of a child causes parents touches the hearts of many people.

“I trust that all the medical professionals will cooperate to continue to give her the best possible care and appropriate treatment. Such international cooperation is essential good practice in the care of tragically difficult lives. I will keep these professionals in my prayers.

“I, along with many others, have held this family in my prayers and will continue to pray that Tafida and her parents are strengthened by the presence and mercy of God, and by the support of all who know and love her.”

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