Baby Charlotte's Parents Claim Doctors Are Killing Her
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 14, 2004
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND--Police are investigating allegations by the parents of 14-month-old Charlotte Wyatt that doctors are trying to bring about their daughter's death.
Darren and Debbie Wyatt filed a complaint with local authorities on November 20 claiming that doctors at St. Mary's Hospital are giving their daughter too much morphine. The levels of the pain-killer could bring about an early death, they allege.
According to British news sources, officials with the Portsmouth National Health Trust said the morphine is being used simply to keep the girl from suffering.
Charlotte weighed just one pound when she was born three months premature on October 21, 2003. 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 maintain that she is blind, deaf, and is unaware of her surroundings.
The High Court on October 7 gave the doctors permission to refuse to use a ventilator again if Charlotte stops breathing. Doctors believe she will likely die of a lung infection this winter.
Her parents argue that Charlotte sees light and hear sounds, and that she likes to be cuddled. They believe she deserves a chance to continue living.
Last month, the Wyatts asked the hospital trust to reconsider their position. If that effort fails, the family may go to the Court of Appeal to reverse the High Court's order.
The NHS Trust said that it now requires a security guard to be present whenever Mr. Wyatt visits his daughter's ward to protect hospital staff.
Charlotte's case highlights a growing disagreement between disability rights groups and medical professionals over who should decide whether a person with certain disabilities or medical conditions should live or die.