by Chris O’Reilly
A one year old boy is at the centre of a “right-to-life” dispute between his parents, it emerged on Sunday. The boy, known as Baby RB for legal reasons, is currently breathing through a ventilator. The boy’s mother supports doctors who are asking permission to turn off the life support machine currently keeping him alive, but the father is fighting to prevent this.
Baby RB’s mother supports the hospital’s argument to take the boy off the ventilator to save him from living a “miserable, sad and pitiful existence”. The boy suffers from congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS), a rare, genetic condition which causes muscle weakness and makes it difficult to breathe independently.
Baby RB was born with this condition and has been in hospital since birth.
The mother is siding with the hospital who believe that Baby RB’s quality of life is so low that it would not be worthwhile to try to save him.
Doctors believe the boy’s condition is unlikely to improve.
The father, who is separated from the mother, is fighting the hospital’s attempt to take his son off life support. His lawyers argue that as Baby RB’s brain is fully functioning he should remain on life support until a tracheotomy can be performed, which could help him breathe through a small hole in his neck.
The father’s lawyers are claiming that the boy can see, hear, and play, and enjoys being read to and listening to music. Video footage of this is due to be submitted to court later this week.
The father’s acting solicitor, Christopher Cuddihee, told The Sunday Telegraph: “The father feels very strongly that Baby RB has a quality of life that demands the trust should continue to provide life-sustaining treatment.”
An estimated 300 people in the UK suffer from CMS.
The case continues this week at the High Court.