Family demands hospital inquiry amid claims that terminally ill child did not receive court-approved treatment Row as baby in right-to-life case dies

The family of a terminally ill baby yesterday demanded an inquiry into the medical care he received in his final hours after life-saving treatment was withheld by order of the courts. Ten-month-old Luke Winston-Jones, from Holyhead in North Wales, died at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool in the early hours of yesterday.

He was given only days to live after he was diagnosed with the genetic disorder Edwards syndrome shortly after birth.

Last month, doctors caring for Luke were granted permission by the High Court to withhold life-saving treatment by "aggressive" mechanical ventilation if his condition deteriorated.

His aunt, Jacqui Kirkwood, who was with Luke when he died, claimed doctors did not give him the treatment that the court had ordered was acceptable.

A spokeswoman for Alder Hey Children's Hospital denied the allegation and said medical staff had fully complied with the High Court ruling.

Mrs Kirkwood said: "The whole family is grieving but we are also angry as well because of the actions of the medical staff.

"This is exactly what we did not want to happen."

Mrs Kirkwood said doctors refused to carry out procedures which the family believed would have prolonged Luke's life.

She added: "We want a full inquiry into what happened, we will not let this rest."

The hospital spokeswoman said yesterday: "Sadly, Luke Winston-Jones died at Alder Hey Hospital during the early hours of this morning.

"Senior clinicians at the trust were present at the time and attempted to resuscitate Luke.

"Luke's condition had significantly deteriorated over the past 48 hours and so, despite extensive resuscitation lasting over an hour, we were unsuccessful.

"The trust is confident that it has always acted in the best interests of Luke and have fully complied with the recent ruling from the High Court.

"We believe that Luke and his family have received the best care available to him at all times. Luke's family are now being supported by our bereavement care team.

"As this case may be the subject of a coroner's investigation, we are unable to comment further at this stage."

Luke's mother, Ruth Winston-Jones, said she was "severely traumatised" by the events.

She said: "It is the end of my world, I have lost my precious little boy."

Luke, who also suffered from heart and breathing problems, had never left hospital during his short life.

His mother had set up an appeal fund to pay for his care, which was supported by the Duchess of York.

He was originally treated at Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor, North Wales, but was moved recently to the Liverpool children's hospital.

A joint application was made by both hospitals to the High Court, requesting permission to withhold treatment if Luke's condition worsened.

The ruling, which sided with the views of the doctors, was made by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, president of the High Court's Family Division.

Doctors agreed that Luke should not be resuscitated by mechanical ventilation if

his condition worsened but could be given the less aggressive treatment of cardiac massage.

Mrs Winston-Jones, 35, had fought against the application by Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust and North West Wales NHS that Luke should not receive treatment and said that leaving it to doctors "would constitute an abrogation of her maternal duty".

The case came to the High Court only two weeks after a judge ruled that another seriously ill baby, Charlotte Wyatt, from Portsmouth, Hampshire, should not be given aggressive treatment but should be allowed to die peacefully.