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Pippa Knight case: Strood mum loses latest round of life-support treatment battle


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A single mum has lost the latest round of a life-support treatment battle over her brain-damaged five-year-old.

Paula Parfitt wants doctors to keep treating her daughter Pippa Knight and had taken her case to the Court of Appeal after a High Court judge ruled treatment could lawfully end.

Five-year-old Pippa Knight from Strood. Picture: SPUC
Five-year-old Pippa Knight from Strood. Picture: SPUC

But three appeal judges have today ruled against her.

Strood resident Ms Parfitt thinks Pippa should leave hospital and wants specialists to stage a home-care trial.

Doctors treating Pippa, who is in a vegetative state at the Evelina Children's Hospital in London, disagree and say life-support treatment should end.

Mr Justice Poole decided treatment could lawfully end and said Pippa should be allowed to die. He visited the five-year-old in December.

In February, Ms Parfitt asked appeal judges to overturn Mr Justice Poole's decision.

Pippa Knight with her mum Paula Parfitt. Picture: SPUC
Pippa Knight with her mum Paula Parfitt. Picture: SPUC

Lady Justice King, Lord Justice Baker and Lady Justice Elisabeth Laing delivered a ruling today and upheld Mr Justice Poole's decision.

Lord Justice Baker said in a written ruling: "I am entirely satisfied that the judge was entitled to conclude and declare that it was lawful and in Pippa's best interests that life-sustaining treatment be withdrawn for the reasons he gave in his judgment."

The other two appeal judges said they agreed.

Campaign group the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has paid for lawyers to represent Ms Parfitt.

Paula wants the Supreme Court to review the decision. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA
Paula wants the Supreme Court to review the decision. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA

John Deighan, deputy chief executive of the society, said after the ruling: "This is a desperately sad day and a decision which allows despair to triumph over hope.

He added: "This courageous young girl has fought to live with every breath in her body for the last two years but the court has decided that fight has been in vain."

Ms Parfitt said she was "devastated" and wanted the Supreme Court to consider Pippa's case.

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