HIS is a truly heart-wrenching story about a very poorly little girl and the sheer, bizarre, arrogance of the doctors who have been treating her. It should make us all seriously worried.
Tafida Raqeeb is five years old. One night, she suffered a burst blood vessel in her brain. She was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with a rare condition called arteriovenous malformation. She is in intensive care, on a ventilator.
Tafida has been held against her parents’ wishes in the Royal London Hospital since her condition deteriorated. The view of the doctors there is that they can do nothing more for her and that it would be better for her to be left to die.
They even appealed to a court — without the parents’ knowledge — arguing that they should stop further treatment. Her parents, Mohammed Raqeeb and Shelina Begum, are understandably utterly distraught.
Not least because a hospital in Genoa, Italy, has said it will happily treat Tafida. They suggest there is a good chance she will emerge from the coma she is in.
They have the expertise to deal with her horrible illness. Tafida’s parents desperately want this to happen. But the Royal London Hospital simply will not have it.
They refused to let the parents take her away. Their response? Better off if she dies. Now a court has ruled the hospital was keeping Tafida there against her parents’ will.
I can understand doctors telling Mohammed and Shelina there is nothing more that they can do for their little girl. What is beyond belief — beyond imagination — is that they would insist on keeping the child there to die when there is genuine hope she might be cured.
GLIMMER OF HOPE
It is all terribly similar to the case of Ashya King, an eight-year-old lad who had a brain tumour and was being treated at a hospital in Southampton.
The treatment he was receiving, his parents feared, threatened to cause grave brain damage and they instead wanted him to be treated via proton therapy in Prague.
The hospital said: “No, he stays here.” And so the parents, Brett and Naghemeh King, were forced to abduct the lad, sparking a Europe-wide manhunt. They were arrested in Spain . . . where Ashya also received treatment.
Five years later, he is cured. Free from cancer. No brain damage. The parents were right. The doctors were horribly wrong. Our medical professionals are, by and large, brilliant. But there is sometimes a grotesque arrogance and pigheadedness about them.
There is often a lack of adequate communication with patients and their parents about diagnoses and prognoses. They think they always know best. Yet sometimes they do not.
We need a law to stop doctors over- riding the wishes of parents in cases where children are assumed to be beyond recovery.
It may well be that if Tafida is taken to Italy, she will still die. But it is wholly wrong that doctors should deny Tafida, her mum and dad a glimmer of hope. Let us all pray Tafida makes it to Genoa and the treatment works.
Sacked for believing in a scientific fact
DR DAVID Mackereth was sacked because he refused, in theory, to refer to a patient as a lady — if that lady in question was “six-foot tall with a big beard”.
Mackereth believes a person’s gender is determined at birth. By chromosomes. Whatever your views on gender, he can argue biological sex is a scientific fact.
So, today you can be sacked simply for believing in a scientific fact. Progress, huh?
Let Roy get his award
ROY LARNER saved the lives of countless people as he fought off three knife-wielding jihadi terrorists – himself unarmed – during the London Bridge attacks.
His cry of: “F*** you, I’m Millwall!” became famous across the land. It was a moment of sheer, selfless, heroism. But he is not going to receive compensation – still less an honour – for his actions and for the trauma he has suffered since.
This is because he has also been found guilty of racially aggravated assault, twice. This is a very stupid non sequitur. If Larner has committed an offence, he should indeed be held to account for his crimes.
But that has nothing to do with his behaviour on that horrible night at London Bridge. We see the world too simply. Humanity is not divided into angels and devils. People who have done bad things are capable of doing very wonderful things. And every man or woman is better than his or her worst actions.
Larner should be compensated – and possibly honoured. It is only middle-class liberal distaste stopping that from happening. And, do you know, I’d say the same thing even if Roy had been a Palace fan.
WE’RE all getting a bit Mooned out. It’s 50 years since Neil Armstrong made that giant leap for mankind and the TV stations are full of retrospectives.
I remember watching the landing and thinking the moon looked a bit s***, frankly. But I was only nine. Some scientists argue landing on the Moon didn’t really advance science that much.
It’s true the technology to get there was derived from the US military’s ballistic missile programmes. But with every day that passes, I think it’s more important that somehow we get the hell off this Earth we’ve ruined . . . to boldly go and ruin another planet somewhere else.
THERE’S a woman in the US who makes £240,000 a year by posting pictures of her bum online.
This is Natalia Garibotto who can pull in up to £4,000 for a single shot.
The thing about Natalia’s a**e is that it’s vast. You could fit most of New Jersey on it.So my question is: When did having enormous buttocks suddenly become attractive?
Anyway, it’s a useful sideline for me if the journalism dries up.
‘Victim’ Omar is no saint
WAS US President Donald Trump racist to tell four Democrat politicians to “go back to where they came from”?
Given that in the cases of three of them they would be going back to, er, the US, I think it probably was.
He wouldn’t have said it if they were white. His point, I suppose, was that they should go back to the countries of their parents’ origin and sort out the problems there before returning to the US. The context was missing from all the BBC news reports, as ever.
But still, all four of the politicians he attacked are unspeakably foul. None more so than Ilhan Omar, a vicious anti-Semite. She was born in Somalia, a country where poverty, crime, fundamentalist Islamist terrorism and abject misery exist.
Since being afforded the luxury of a new life in the US, Omar has attacked just about everything her adopted country stands for. She made light of the 9/11 murders and has been equivocal about al-Qaeda.
When Trump suggests that if she doesn’t like it there, she should go back to Somalia, what do you think the majority of Americans are thinking? Racist? Or right on?
Do your zippy up
SHOCKING revelations from classic children’s TV programme Rainbow. Apparently presenter Geoffrey Hayes was bitterly jealous of the puppets George, Zippy and Bungle.
Meanwhile, the rest of the cast were often drunk out of their boxes. And they used to put Zippy and Bungle in compromising positions for a laugh.
MOST READ IN OPINION
This all comes from one of the team, a bloke called Ronnie Le Drew. All a bit sordid, isn’t? I hate it when those precious childhood memories get sullied.
Soon we’ll learn that Bill and Ben, the Flower Pot Men, were coked up, Scooby Doo spent his spare time mauling children and Dick Dastardly from Wacky Races was actually a very careful, cautious driver with no traffic violations to his record.
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