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Charlotte Wyatt's Parents Ready To Fight Back
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 17, 2004

LONDON, ENGLAND--In early October, the High Court ruled that doctors at St. Mary's Hospital could refuse to keep one-year-old baby Charlotte Wyatt alive if she stops breathing.

After the ruling, Darren and Debbie Wyatt said they were disappointed, but had accepted the decision.

Now, six weeks later, the parents have said they plan to appeal the judgment, according to the Daily Mail.

They insist Charlotte has started to see light and hear sounds, and that she likes to be cuddled and that she deserves the chance to keep living.

Charlotte was born three months premature on October 21, 2003. She weighed just one pound. She gets her food and water through a feeding tube, and has been placed on a ventilator three times because of serious heart and lung problems.

Doctors at St. Mary's Hospital maintain that she is blind and deaf, and is not aware of her surroundings.

Under the October 7 ruling, if Charlotte stops breathing again she will only be kept alive long enough for her parents to come and be with her when she dies. Doctors believe she will likely die of a lung infection this coming winter.

The Wyatts' lawyer has written the hospital trust asking it to reconsider the ruling. If that fails, he said they will go to the Court of Appeal to reverse the High Court's order.

Last Friday, nine-month-old Luke Winston-Jones, who was born with Edwards syndrome and three holes in his heart, died in a Liverpool hospital.

His death came three weeks after the High Court Family Division ruled that doctors could refuse "aggressive treatment" to resuscitate him if he stopped breathing. The judge, Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, said she based her decision in part on the October 7 court order regarding Charlotte Wyatt.

The cases of these and other similar children highlight a growing disagreement between disability rights groups and medical professionals over who should decide whether a person with certain disabilities or medical conditions should die.

"Court Prevents Ventilator For Baby" (Inclusion Daily Express - October 8, 2004)


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