An NHS hospital is asking the Court of Protection to authorise removal of life-saving medical treatment from a 19-year-old girl, effectively condemning her to death.
Unlike in similar cases such as Charlie Gard, Alfie Evans and Archie Battersbee, the girl – anonymised by the court as ‘ST’ – is conscious, able to speak, and has instructed her own lawyers to argue that she should be kept alive and allowed to go to Canada for experimental treatment which would give her a chance of survival.
ST is suffering from a rare genetic mitochondrial disease similar to that of Charlie Gard, the baby whose life support was withdrawn as a result of a bitterly fought high-profile legal case in 2017. ST’s condition causes chronic muscle weakness, loss of hearing and damage to her kidneys. She is dependent on regular dialysis and other intensive care, but the condition does not affect the functioning of her brain.