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UK: euthanasia, asylum in Canada is last hope for little Pippa. Sherrington (Bishops’ Conference), “ensure proper care where there is still life”

Seeking asylum in Canada where there is a possibility to continue the treatment that keeps her alive, which the UK at present is unwilling to provide. This is the last hope for Pippa Knight, the little five-year-old girl from Strood, Kent, who has been in a vegetative state for the past two years due to a rare neurological condition called acute necrotising encephalopathy. Her mother, Paula Parfitt, is the protagonist of a legal battle that began in December 2020, when doctors at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, where Pippa is being treated, obtained permission from the court to withdraw life-support from her. The last chance for the family was to seize the London Supreme Court, the final court of appeal, which, however, ruled in favour of the doctors. The little girl allegedly has no hope of improvement and it is in “her best interest” to be deprived of mechanical ventilation and to be left to die. According to John Sherrington, responsible for bioethics at the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, “the ruling to allow medics to cease Pippa’s treatment based on her quality of life or worth does not acknowledge or afford her the inherent human dignity with which she was born. We must uncompromisingly ensure that proper care is given where there is still life, despite serious illness or disability”.

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