Hospital bosses admit liability over death of disabled boy in treatment fight

Brian Farmer, PA
·2-min read

Hospital bosses have admitted liability for “events surrounding the birth” of a 12-month-old boy who died after a High Court treatment battle, a judge has been told.

Isaiah Haastrup, who suffered brain damage at birth and was severely disabled, died in March 2018 after a High Court judge gave doctors permission to provide only palliative care – against the wishes of his father, Lanre Haastrup, and mother, Takesha Thomas.

Specialists treating Isaiah at King’s College Hospital in London had told Mr Justice MacDonald that providing further intensive care treatment was futile and not in his best interests.

Isaiah Haastrup court case
Isaiah Haastrup’s father Lanre Haastrup and mother Takesha Thomas (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

A barrister who represented Mr Haastrup gave another judge a brief outline of the settlement at a virtual public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court on Wednesday.

Bruno Quintavalle told Sir Andrew McFarlane, in a written case outline, that the trust had settled “an action for medical negligence” with Mr Haastrup “having admitted liability for the events surrounding Isaiah’s birth”.

Sir Andrew, the president of the Family Division of the High Court and the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, is considering issues relating to the naming of medics involved in Isaiah’s care.

Isaiah Haastrup case
Sir Andrew McFarlane (Courts and Tribunals Judiciary/PA)

Mr Justice MacDonald, who analysed evidence at private hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London, allowed reporters covering the case to name Isaiah, his parents and King’s College Hospital.

But he said reports could not include details of staff involved in Isaiah’s care.

Isaiah’s parents, from Peckham, south London, want those restrictions lifted.

Mr Haastrup wants Sir Andrew, based in London, to discharge Mr Justice MacDonald’s reporting restrictions order.

He made an application after a London coroner began to oversee an inquest into Isaiah’s death.

The hearing is due to end later this week.