Baby's Right-to-Life Case Pits Father Against Mother

Parents of a baby born with a severe birth defect faced off against one another in a British court Monday to determine their child's fate.

While the doctors and mother of the baby want to disconnect his respirator "to allow him a peaceful, calm and dignified death," the child's father is asking the High Court in London to save the baby's life.

He says the one-year-old baby – who suffers from a rare genetic condition that makes him unable to breathe on his own – can play and recognize his parents. Furthermore, according to the Mayo Clinic in the United States, even potentially fatal forms of congenital myasthenic syndrome – the baby's condition – "can usually be treated successfully" with "accurate diagnosis and appropriate therapy."

"Despite testing it remains unclear which form of CMS he (the baby) suffers from," Kiran Bhogal, a lawyer representing the hospital, told CNN.

Still, lawyers for the hospital say the child's life is "miserable, sad and pitiful" and that his lungs are filled with fluid every few hours, giving him the sensation as if he is choking.

To remove the fluid, doctors must use suction, which also causes the child to suffer.

"I find it very difficult and challenging caring for children on a daily basis who are as disabled as RB," said a pediatrician who supervises the care of the baby, referred to as RB to protect his identity.

"It troubles me that I am committing him on a daily basis to ongoing ventilation in an intensive care unit where I think that his daily existence is distressing and that he does not have the basic building blocks which I would see as necessary to live in the outside world," he told the court on the second day of the hearing.

The hearing of baby RB's case was scheduled to resume Wednesday and is being presided by Judge Andrew McFarlane.

According to reports, the parents of baby RB are in their 20s and amicably separated.

Baby RB was diagnosed with CMS after he was born last October and has yet to leave the hospital.