Right to die case: Brain-damaged girl 'will not recover'

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Doctors argue there is no hope Pippa Knight's condition will improve and she should be allowed to die

A doctor caring for a brain-damaged girl at the centre of a High Court case over whether life-saving treatment should continue, has said her condition will not improve.

Doctors treating Pippa Knight at the Evelina London Children's Hospital say she should be allowed to die.

The girl's mother, Paula Parfitt, 41, wants doctors to allow her to be treated at her home in Strood, Kent.

But the doctor said 15 nurses would be needed to care for Pippa at home.

Mr Justice Poole, who is considering evidence at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, visited Pippa in hospital on Monday.

The judge was told Pippa had been diagnosed with acute necrotising encephalopathy and had suffered brain damage after becoming ill when she was 20 months old.

Lawyers told him Pippa had been in and out of hospital ever since then and had been in the Evelina hospital since January 2019.

Ms Parfitt wants doctors to allow Pippa to be treated at home and says she should be given a tracheotomy and attached to a portable ventilator.

Mother's position 'unbearable'

The doctor, who cannot be named, said moving Pippa home would be "no small undertaking".

She said: "I think Paula genuinely believes that, given time, Pippa will recover.

"If that were true, if I believed that Pippa was likely to recover, we would continue with whatever level of support was likely to achieve that."

The doctor said she understood that Ms Parfitt was in an "unbearable" position.

But she said allowing Pippa to go home would not benefit the youngster, and told the judge: "There is no evidence that Pippa is going to improve."

On Monday Ms Parfitt said she was "devoted" to her daughter and believed Pippa was trying "so hard" to recover.

The hearing is due to last until Friday.

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