Baby Charlotte's Parents Ask Judge To Drop DNR Order
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 26, 2005
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND--The parents of 15-month-old Charlotte Wyatt are going back to court Friday to ask a judge to temporarily suspend his October 7 ruling which gave doctors permission to let their daughter die.
Darren and Debbie Wyatt claim that their daughter's situation has improved significantly in the past few months and that she deserves the chance to keep living.
Doctors at St. Mary's Hospital gave her little hope of surviving when she was born three months premature on October 21, 2003. Charlotte 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.
The doctors claim that the baby is deaf and blind, that she makes no movement on her own, and that she feels no sensations except pain. They have expected her to develop a lung infection some time during the winter, and asked the High Court for permission to refuse the ventilator if she stops breathing again.
Her parents argue that Charlotte sees light, hears sounds, and that she likes to be cuddled. They want Mr. Justice Hedley to drop his "do not resuscitate" order for at least six weeks while tests are done to determine her actual condition.
"Charlotte should not have this 'do not resuscitate order' left hanging over her," family friend Carol Glass told the Sunday Times. "She could now live on with the right treatment."
A Portsmouth National Health Trust spokesperson told the BBC that the fact that Charlotte is alive and has improved slightly is "a tribute to the skill and expertise of the nursing and medical staff" rather than the baby's abilities.
Charlotte's case underscores a growing disagreement between disability rights groups and medical professionals in the United Kingdom and elsewhere over who should decide whether a person with certain disabilities or medical conditions should live or die.