“On the other hand, withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment when treatment would have been beneficial and not unduly burdensome is nothing less than abandonment,” he wrote.
“Furthermore, even if withdrawal of treatment is justifiable, it is important that the decision is made for the right reasons. In the case of Pippa Knight, as in the two former cases, the ethical reasoning is deeply flawed.”
In February, Pippa’s mother asked appeal judges to overturn the ruling, arguing that her daughter should be allowed to leave the hospital and be treated at home on a portable ventilator.
The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s ruling on March 19.
Appeal Court judge Lord Justice Baker said in a written ruling: “I am entirely satisfied that the judge was entitled to conclude and declare that it was lawful and in Pippa’s best interests that life-sustaining treatment be withdrawn for the reasons he gave in his judgment.”
The two other judges who heard the appeal expressed their agreement.
Following the ruling, Parfitt said: “I am once again devastated as a result of the judgment of the Court of Appeal today, to uphold the decision that it is not in Pippa’s best interests to have a two-week trial of portable ventilation to find out whether she could come home,” she said.
“I find it inexplicable that the court and [hospital] trust will not allow Pippa to trial portable ventilation for two weeks to see if she can return home when the hospital allows Pippa to go outside for long periods on portable ventilation with no issue.”
She continued: “I will be seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. I want Pippa to have every possible chance to come home and be with her family.”
Commenting on the Appeal Court ruling, Catholic Bishop John Sherrington said: “Pippa is living in a seriously disabled way due to her complex and rare medical condition. The Catholic Church teaches that every person has worth and dignity which is independent of their condition. Lack of awareness does not diminish worth.”
“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.”
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Sherrington, a Westminster diocese auxiliary bishop and the English and Welsh bishops’ spokesman for life issues, said he was praying for Pippa, her mother, and the healthcare professionals caring for the girl.
“We must uncompromisingly ensure that proper care is given where there is still life, despite serious illness or disability,” he commented.
“We are reminded that such care must include the provision of nutrition and hydration, by whatever means, which is neither treatment nor medicine, unless this itself becomes overly burdensome.”