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Daughter of Syrian refugees at centre of life-support treatment fight

General view of the High Court on the Strand, London (PA)
General view of the High Court on the Strand, London (PA)

The seriously ill six-year-old daughter of Syrian refugees is at the centre of a High Court life-support treatment battle.

Specialists have told a judge that the little girl is suffering from a rare and incurable neurological condition.

They say she should be disconnected from a ventilator and moved to a palliative care regime.

Her parents disagree and say ventilation should continue.

Hospital bosses have asked Mr Justice Hayden to decide what moves are in her best interests.

The judge on Tuesday began considering evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

He ruled that nothing could be reported which would identify the girl – her parents had said they did not want her to be named in media reports.

Mr Justice Hayden heard how the girl had been born in Lebanon, after her parents left Syria.

She had started to become ill about four years ago, after arriving in England.

In July, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors could stop providing life support treatment to a 12-year-old boy who suffered brain damage in an incident at home in Southend, Essex, in April.

Archie Battersbee died earlier this month after his parents failed in bids to overturn Mr Justice Hayden’s ruling.

Barrister Ian Brownhill, who is leading the girl’s parents’ legal team, told Mr Justice Hayden that the girl’s case was factually different to Archie’s case.

The girl is in the care of the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust – which has begun litigation.

The hearing is due to end on Wednesday.