Page last updated at 17:22 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Right to life: A mother's story

baby's feet

A father who had been fighting to stop a hospital withdrawing life support from his seriously ill son has dropped his objections.

The one-year-old, known as Baby RB for legal reasons, was born with a rare, genetic muscle condition that makes it hard for him to breathe independently.

The hospital was backed by the baby's mother.

Kirsty Richardson was faced with the same difficult decision as Baby RB's parents, over the life of her serious ill young son.

She decided to switch off his ventilator as she did not want to see him go through anymore pain and suffering.

Here she tells the BBC her story.

My son was eight and a half months old when we had to decide whether to keep him on a ventilator or take him off and let nature take its course. He had a condition called Gauchers Type Two, which is a metabolic genetic disease.

In terms of brain activity he could have continued to function, but he was in so much pain and there was no cure and no treatment, and we would have had to watch him fade away, fade to nothing.

I didn't want to put him through any more pain than what he was already going through. Obviously it was a very upsetting and very, very difficult time. I was at his bedside the whole time seeing him go through what he was going through, and I just couldn't do it to him anymore.

The doctors and the staff at the hospital were extremely helpful. They did everything they could for us and gave us all the information that we needed. They were agreeable with my decision.

I can sympathise with the mother and the father in this case.

Even though my decision to switch off my son's ventilator was the right one, I still regret it. This mother will also probably regret it exactly the same as I do.

However it is the right decision for the child. It is not down to what the parents want. It is what the child is going through, and if that child is in pain and there is nothing they can do for that child, then it is the best option.

If you were in that position and you still had brain activity what would you want to happen to yourself? Would you want to carry on?

Nothing compares to losing a child but to see them suffering is so much worse.

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