Tafida Raqeeb

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Tafida Raqeeb’s parents want to move her to a children’s hospital in Genoa, Italy

A brain-damaged girl will suffer “physical degradation” if doctors keep providing life-support treatment, the High Court has heard.

Five-year-old Tafida Raqeeb has been on life support since she had a traumatic brain injury in February.

Doctors at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel say further treatment will not work and it is in her best interest to be allowed to die.

But her parents want to move her to Italy where she has been offered care.

Katie Gollop QC, representing Barts Health NHS Trust which runs the hospital, told the court one specialist thought Tafida was in a condition “consistent with a vegetative state”.

She said the girl might have a “very small amount of consciousness”, but experts believed she felt no pain, had no awareness and had no prospect of recovery.

More treatment would mean “invasive operations” and “physical degradation”, Ms Gollop said.

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Tafida’s mother said her daughter was improving “every day”

Her parents’ legal battle with the trust to be granted the right to take her to Genoa in Italy for treatment reached its final day on Friday.

Lawyers representing Tafida have argued she is being denied her right to free movement under European Union law.

Vikram Sachdeva, who is leading Tafida’s legal team, told Mr Justice MacDonald: “One needs to put oneself, so far as one can, in the position of the patient and ask what the patient would have wanted.”

He said there was “really very little on the downside” to prolonging the girl’s life, adding that on the “upside” there was the “sanctity of life”.

The judge finished analysing evidence earlier and said he aimed to deliver a ruling in the next few weeks.

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Tafida and her father Mohammed Raqeeb

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