The Christian parents of Isaiah Haastrup, the one-year-old boy who has suffered brain damage since birth, recently asked the European Court on Human Rights in France to intervene in their son's case after judges of a High Court ruled that the boy should no longer receive life support at the hospital. Their appeal, however, has been rejected.
Lanre Haastrup and Takesha Thomas did not give up on their son even as the King's College Hospital in London did. At least three High Court judges have also ruled in the hospital's favor, which means that Isaiah should be transferred to palliative care as soon as possible. They cited that treating the boy in intensive care had become "futile, burdensome and not in his best interests," since he was technically brain-damaged.
The boy's parents then made an appeal to the ECHR despite the judges' ruling and continued with Isaiah's treatment while waiting for the results. However, on Tuesday, the ECHR said the appeal was inadmissible and added that its decision was final.
Isaiah was born at King's College Hospital with severe brain damage on Feb. 18, 2017. He was apparently deprived of oxygen during birth and thus did not exhibit consciousness or independent movements. The baby also does not respond when stimulated, which his mother denied.
"When I speak to him he will respond, slowly, by opening one eye," Thomas explained to the judge. She also said that she saw her son quiver his tongue to indicate he was crying.
"I think everybody deserves the chance to live," she further said and added that only God can say who lives or dies.
Thomas also expressed her mistrust for the hospital staff by saying that they did not check in on her son regularly, while she was with him most of the time. They could not attest to Isaiah's responsiveness because, according to the mother, the nurses and doctors assess the baby for just two minutes and then leave.
The lawyer for King's College Hospital, Fiona Paterson, reiterated that while they sympathize with the boy's parents, medical evidence proved that stopping Isaiah's treatments would be the best course for the baby.
The parents, however, had hoped that the European Court would allow them to look into another option called hyperbaric therapy instead of palliative care. But with the recent ruling from the ECHR, it has yet to be seen what actions they will take next.