The parents of a brain-dead baby have lost their high court appeal to keep him on life support.

Three appeal judges today ruled that treatment could be withdrawn from four-month-old Midrar Ali. His parents, Karwan Ali, 35, and Shokhan Namiq, 28, argued their son was showing signs of life and should not have his treatment discontinued.

Source: PA Midrar Ali’s parents, Karwan Ali (left) and Shokhan Namiq want to keep their son on ventilation

But three judges dismissed their challenge and declared that Midrar died in October, when he would have been 14 days old.

Doctors from St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, where the boy was receiving treatment, had argued that Midrar should be allowed a “kind and dignified death”.

The three appeal judges, Sir Andrew McFarlane, Lord Justice Patten and Lady Justice King, dismissed the couple’s challenge on the basis that the withdrawal of treatment was the best choice for Midrar.

They added that Midrar was brain-dead and there was no evidence to show that further tests would have shown new results.

The parents brought their appeal after a judge in the Family Division of the High Court concluded on the basis of medical evidence that Midrar was brain-stem dead. But the boy’s parents claimed that he still had potential to grow and further tests should be carried out.

Midrar was starved of oxygen when the umbilical cord came out ahead of his birth on 18 September last year, causing complications.

Manchester University NHS Foundation said Midrar had never breathed independently and was always on ventilator.

Lawyers representing the trust said three tests had confirmed brain stem death.

They said doctors had concluded that Midrar was brain stem dead in October.

Sir Andrew, president of the Family Division of the High Court and the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, announced the decision at a hearing on Friday.

He said evidence showed that Midrar no longer had a “brain that is recognisable as such”.