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Doctors will let sick baby die after court case

A seriously ill A patient is seriously ill when his or her illness is of such severity that there is cause for immediate concern but there is no imminent danger to life. See also very seriously ill.  baby at the centre of a court battle between his parents will be allowed to die after his father dropped his objection to switching off his ventilator Tuesday.

The one-year-old's mother and his doctors wanted to switch off the ventilator keeping him alive in order to stop his suffering.

Baby RB's father, who is separated from the baby's mother, had challenged this in London's High Court on the grounds that his son can still see, hear, feel and recognise his parents, but has now dropped his opposition.

"All of the parties in court now agree that it would be in RB's best interests for the course suggested by the doctors to be followed," judge Andrew McFarlane told the court, as the baby's parents wept.

"It is, I suspect, impossible for those of us to whom such an event has not happened to do more than guess at the impact of it upon these two young parents."

He said that the outcome was the "only tenable ten·a·ble  
1. Capable of being maintained in argument; rationally defensible: a tenable theory.

 one for RB" and described it as "sad but in my view inevitable".

The boy is thought to have congenital myasthenic syndrome Congenital myasthenic syndrome is an inherited muscular disorder caused by genetic flaws at the neuromuscular junction. The affects of the disease are similar to Lambert-Eaton syndrome and Myasthenia gravis, the difference being that LEMS and MG are autoimmune disorders, but CMS is  (CMS (1) See content management system and color management system.

(2) (Conversational Monitor System) Software that provides interactive communications for IBM's VM operating system.
), a rare neuromuscular neuromuscular /neu·ro·mus·cu·lar/ (-mus´ku-ler) pertaining to nerves and muscles, or to the relationship between them.

 condition which severely limits his ability to breathe, move his limbs or make facial expressions.

He has a feeding tube feeding tube
A flexible tube that is inserted through the pharynx and into the esophagus and stomach and through which liquid food is passed.
 in one nostril nostril /nos·tril/ (nos´tril) either of the nares.

A naris.


either of the two apertures (nares) of the nose that lead into the nasal cavity.
 and another tube in the other nostril connected to the ventilator which lets him breathe. He has been on the ventilator since he was born in October last year.

A joint statement issued by lawyers on both sides said that RB's father was now "satisfied that the benefits of further medical treatment are sadly no longer in RB's best interests".

"This has been an agonisingly difficult decision," it added.

Expert witnesses in the court case, which has been running for just over a week, said the baby had a normal brain but an immobile body.

They voiced concern that this meant he could not show if his treatment was causing him pain.
Copyright 2009 AFP European Edition
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Publication:AFP European Edition
Date:Nov 10, 2009
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