Wyatts Consider Appealing Infant Daughter's Death Ruling
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 12, 2004
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND--The parents of 11-month-old Charlotte Wyatt are no longer ruling out a challenge to a High Court decision that gave doctors permission to let the girl die if she stops breathing.
According to Tuesday's Birmingham Post, Charlotte's parents, Debbie, 23, and Darren, 33, said they want to do what is in the best interests of their infant daughter and the rest of the family.
When the High Court ruling came last Thursday, the Wyatts indicated through their attorney that they would accept the decision.
"We haven't made a statement saying that we are going to appeal," Darren Wyatt told the Post this week. "We have to look at the balance. It's been a very stressful time and we just want to relax."
Charlotte was born three months prematurely. Doctors at St. Mary's Hospital said that she now is blind and deaf, and weighs just 5.6 kilograms (12.4 pounds). The infant gets her food and water through a feeding tube, and has been placed on a ventilator three times when she stopped breathing because of serious heart and lung problems.
Medical experts testified that Charlotte's quality of life is both "terrible and permanent", and that she has no will to live.
The High Court ruled that, if she stops breathing again, she will only be kept alive long enough for her parents to come and be with her when she dies.
Mr. Justice Hedley told the Court, "I have come to a clear view I do not believe any further aggressive treatment to prolong her life is in her best interests." Hedley said he had considered allowing doctors to insert a breathing tube into Charlotte's throat, but had decided against it.
Doctors believe Charlotte would likely die of a lung infection this coming winter.
The Wyatts had argued that their daughter is "a little fighter" who should be given every chance to survive. Devout Christians, they hoped that a miracle from God would save Charlotte's life.
"Let parents decide fate of their baby" (Evening News)
"Focus: Has science created a dilemma society cannot solve?" (The Sunday Times)
"Baby Charlotte raises treatment questions" (Medical News Today)
"Court Prevents Ventilator For Baby" (Inclusion Daily Express -- Sept. 8, 2004)