Let Pippa Knight go home!
Five-year-old Pippa Knight is in a coma at the Eveline children’s hospital in London. She has been in a comatose condition for almost the past two years, after sustaining brain damage following an infection.
While her mother is hopeful for the prospects of her recovery - Pippa’s expected deterioration has not happened, and she remains stable, experts have sadly concluded that it is unlikely that this little girl will recover.
Pippa’s mother would like her little girl to be placed onto a portable ventilator and allowed home so that she can spend the rest of her life being cared for by her family.
Yet once, again, like other sick children before her, Pippa has been at the centre of a court battle over her supposed ‘best interests’ and a High Court judge has ruled that it would be in Pippa’s best interests for life support to be withdrawn immediately and for her to pass away in the hospital environment.
During the trial, the court heard from several experts all of whom agreed that the little girl's long-term prognosis was not good; however, two independent experts from reputable hospitals stated that it would be worth trying to move Pippa home as she is not experiencing any pain or discomfort.
The judge has ruled this out for many reasons, including a lack of funding for a home care package to be put in place for Pippa and also dismissed the notion of human dignity as being of any importance in this case. He also stated that it was the courts' role, not the parents to decide what is in their child’s best interests in difficult cases such as these and did not put sufficient weight on the views of Pippa’s mother and her immediate family.
Pippa’s mother was thoroughly commended by the court for her dedication and devotion to her daughter, spending 16 hours a day by her bedside. The judge was concerned that if she were to go home, then she may fall sick and that the family may not be able to keep her alive. Despite Pippa's mother saying that she would be prepared to consider withdrawal of life support if the ventilation trial did not work, the judge was concerned that the court may be asked to rule again. Instead of taking each day at a time and giving Pippa and her family a chance, he seemed keen to draw an end to the matter, and Pippa's life, once and for all.
Pippa’s mother and her legal team are going to appeal the judgement.
They have already been through so much after Pippa’s father committed suicide upon learning of his daughter’s condition, having already lost a son to meningitis.
It would bring much comfort and peace to the family unit, including Pippa’s brother if the family could be reunited in caring for her in the familiar surroundings of her own home, surrounded by her favourite possessions, family members, and pet dog.
Pippa is assumed not to have any consciousness (although it is always difficult to tell), is not in any discernable pain and will not be caused harm or distress if she were to be transferred home.
This decision appears to be utilitarian in nature, lacking in compassion, ignoring the innate dignity of human life and the deeply-held beliefs and needs of Pippa’s family.
No matter how limited, Pippa's life does still have intrinsic value, dignity and worth and makes a positive difference to her family. She should not be forced to die prematurely and her family’s wishes ought to be respected.
Sign the petition asking the Secretary of State Matt Hancock to intervene, spare this family another court battle and make arrangements for Pippa to go home.
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Help Pippa Knight go home