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British Toddler Taken Off Life Support Despite Parent's Pleas to Keep Him Alive

( [email protected] ) Oct 01, 2014 03:19 PM EDT

UK High Court
The infant's mother begged the court to allow her son to live, saying, ''miracles do happen.'' (Photo: Alamy)

A High Court judge has ruled that a British infant must be be taken off his life-support machine, despite his parent's belief that God would miraculously heal him .

The Daily Mail reports that Judge Allison Russell, who described the case as "unbearably sad", approved an application from the NHS Trust requesting that the child be removed from life support following the advice of medical experts who called the decision "wise."

The one-year-old boy was born several months early, and respiratory complications left him unable to survive without mechanical ventilation and "invasive" tubes.

According to court documents, the child has suffered "profound irreversible brain damage" in addition to chronic lung disease, which means his chance of long-term survival are very slim.

However, the boy's parents, who are devout Christians, have fought tirelessly to keep their son alive, arguing that their son might recover to the point where he could experience the 'pleasures of life'.

The child's father told the courts, 'Even though he is going through all these problems, he still knows ... what is going on.

"We know he is reacting to certain things. He still has life. We don't have the right, as parents, as individuals, to take this privilege from him," his father said, adding that he and his wife believe they have seen "improvements" in their son's condition.

"At the end of the day he is still alive. The ventilator is helping and supporting that life. Where there is life, I don't think you should get the right to determine whether that should be taken away," the boy's mother told the judge.

"He's still alive. Miracles do happen."

Although the parents appealed the court to allow their son to live, their request was denied.

"The parents believe in the possibility of recovery. That is not the opinion of the medical experts," the judge explained, adding that she came to her conclusion with "great reluctance".

"It is their belief that given time God may work a miracle. I have nothing but sympathy for them and admire the love and devotion they have shown," Ms Justice Russell added.

A spokesperson for the family's lawyer said the family are "devastated" by the ruling.

"[They] are desperately upset...and will now want to come to terms with the court's decision and grieve for their son," Yogi Amin said.