The UK's high court has sided with the family of a 5-year-old girl with a severe brain injury over doctors who sought to remove her from life support. The parents of Tafida Raqeeb are "thrilled" with the court's decision to allow the girl to be moved from Royal London Hospital to Gaslini Children's Hospital in Genoa, Italy, where she will remain on life support, reports the BBC. The London hospital's operator, Barts Health NHS Trust, had asked the judge to rule in favor of removing Tafida from life support, maintaining that she can't move, see, feel, or taste, and has no chance of recovery after blood vessels in her brain ruptured in February. Her Muslim family, however, argued Tafida's life might continue for another 20 years on ventilation, and should be left in God's hands.
Tafida "is not dying and we are continuously seeing small but important signs that she is gradually improving," mother Shelina Begum says, per the Guardian, which reports that the hospital transfer could take place within 10 days. Begem, who hopes to eventually have Tafida on a ventilator at home, adds she and husband Mohammed Raqeeb "have always been hopeful that [Tafida] might make something of a recovery if she is just given the time and the right treatment to continue to improve." Justice Alistair MacDonald concluded life-sustaining treatment was "in Tafida's best interests" given that she was in a condition to be safely moved. The decision is also "consistent with the religious and cultural tenets by which Tafida was being raised," he said. The hospital has 21 days to appeal the ruling. (Read more life support stories.)