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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).

Cave, Emma and Archard, David and Brierley, Joe (2020) '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).', Medical law review., 28 (1). pp. 183-196.

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.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Best interests, conscience, children, life-sustaining treatment, free movement, parental rights
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwz038
Publisher statement:This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Medical Law Review following peer review. The version of record Cave, Emma, Archard, David & Brierley, Joe (2020). 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). Medical Law Review 28(1): 183-196 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/medlaw/fwz038
Date accepted:07 November 2019
Date deposited:15 November 2019
Date of first online publication:17 December 2019
Date first made open access:17 December 2021

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