6th March, 2024

A Hospital Trust v P & Ors [2024] EWHC 313 (Fam) (15 February 2024)

Sarah Kilvington represented the mother, led by Nick Stonor KC, and Kalsoom Maqsood represented the father, led by Jacqueline Thomas KC in the case of A Hospital Trust v P & Ors [2024] EWHC 313 (Fam) (15 February 2024)

This was an exceptionally difficult and sensitive case in which the parties' young daughter had suffered catastrophic injuries, and the Hospital Trust applied to the High Court for a declaration that it was not in the child’s best interests for life-sustaining medical treatment to be continued, with the inevitable consequence that the child would die. There were significant communication difficulties in this case – the Mother was on remand in prison, had no English and no ability to read in her first language, owing to having received very little education; the Father was profoundly deaf, used a basic version of international sign language, and required the assistance of an intermediary. 

These communication needs necessitated close attention to how to impart difficult information to the parents and to take careful instructions in highly distressing circumstances. The judge ultimately endorsed the withdrawal of treatment after close consideration of the medical evidence.

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