Baby with brain damage allowed to die rules Judge as mum dies on same day she gave birth to son

A BABY who was born with irreversible brain damage on the day his mother died should be allowed to die a judge ruled yesterday.

The child named Danny, was delivered via caesarean when his mother Danielle Jones, 18, collapsed at her parent's home in Bristol and was pronounced dead when she arrived at hospital.

Mr Justice Hayden heard that Danielle had been 36 weeks pregnant, and despite being two weeks short of full term, was unaware of her pregnancy.

Judge Hayden ruled that doctors could lawfully disconnect Danny from a ventilator and stop providing life-support treatment after a specialist said he had suffered irreversible brain damage during birth and should be allowed to die.

The specialist also told the judge that Danny's brain had been denied oxygen during birth, and that he has been in an intensive care unit ever since where he was being given "mechanical ventilation."

The judge was told that Danny could not be treated, would not recover and would never have any "meaningful interaction" with the outside world.

Judge Hayden heard the case at a virtual public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

Bosses at the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust asked Mr Justice Hayden to decide what moves were in Danny's best interests. 

Danielle's boyfriend, Ozzy Godfrey, 18, is Danny's father, tests had not yet been carried out to prove this conclusively, lawyers representing the trusts said.

This means that the decision to withdraw life-support treatment was left upto the judge as there was no one with parental responsibility.

But Judge Hayden said he hoped that tests could be carried out so that both parents could be named on a birth certificate.

He also said that Danny's family agreed that he should be allowed to die.

Judge Hayden got to see Danny and his relatives in hospital via computer link during a break in the proceedings and said he was "suffused" with the love of "both sides of his family."

He said: "He is surrounded by toys. There's a Winnie-the-Pooh, a monkey and a small traditional teddy bear with a big bow.

"There's also a white fluffy toy that belonged to Danny's mother.

"It looked almost new and it brought home to me, with powerful force, how very young his mum was."

Judge Hayden also ruled that no no photographs of Danny could be published, or the hospital where he was being cared for and the medics treating him could not be named or identified.

But he did say that Danny and his parents could be named in media reports.

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