Six-year-old girl at centre of High Court life support treatment fight has died

·1-min read

A disabled six-year-old girl at the centre of a High Court life support treatment fight has died, a lawyer said.

Pippa Knight had been in a vegetative state at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London.

Doctors said life support treatment should be withdrawn, but her mother, Paula Parfitt, said Pippa should leave hospital and wanted specialists to stage a home care trial.

A High Court judge ruled in favour of doctors early this year.

Mr Justice Poole had analysed arguments at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Ms Parfitt, 41, from Strood, Kent, mounted a series of challenges but failed to persuade judges in the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights to overturn Mr Justice Poole’s ruling.

Paula Parfitt
Paula Parfitt (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

He recently approved a plan drawn up by specialists to withdraw treatment.

A lawyer representing bosses at the Evelina said Pippa has now died.

Mr Justice Poole made a ruling in January, following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court, that doctors could lawfully stop providing life support treatment and allow Pippa to die.

He concluded that she was being burdened by treatment but getting no benefit, and said ending life support was in her best interests.

The judge, who heard that Pippa’s father is dead, has described the case as “heart-rending”.

Pippa was born on April 20 2015 and initially developed normally, but in December 2016 she became unwell and began to suffer seizures, the judge heard.

Doctors diagnosed acute necrotising encephalopathy.

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