Charlotte Wyatt Making 'Remarkable Progress', Hospital
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 22, 2005
PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND--Charlotte Wyatt's parents got mixed news last week.
According to the Sunday Times, Darren and Debbie Wyatt received a letter from St. Mary's Hospital stating that staff members caring for the 22-month-old have been "encouraged" by her "remarkable progress to date".
Doctors insisted, however, that Charlotte has improved only because she has avoided a respiratory infection.
"But this doesn't change her underlying condition," the hospital is quoted as saying.
Still, the Wyatts seemed optimistic as they prepare for a hearing this Thursday which they hope could lead the hospital to drop its plan to refuse treatment for the girl if she stops breathing.
Charlotte was born three months premature in October 2003. Doctors insist that she has serious heart and lung problems, is deaf and blind, makes no movement on her own and feels no sensations except constant pain. They had predicted last October that she would develop a lung infection during the winter and would stop breathing. The High Court's Mr. Justice Hedley agreed with the hospital that it would be in Charlotte's best interest to leave her to die if she stops breathing.
Charlotte's parents claim that their daughter smiles, reaches out to them, tries to talk, likes to watch her toys, and stays outside for up to 40 minutes at a time.
Mr. Wyatt told the Sunday Times: "Charlotte has passed her sight and hearing tests and shows she is capable of more than people thought. She has grown so much and is responding well."
"Now it seems that the doctors are agreeing with us that she is getting better and that she does have a quality of life. Charlotte needs this order lifted."
Charlotte's case and those of similar children highlight the disagreement between disability rights groups and medical professionals over who should determine the quality of life of people with disabilities and who should decide whether patients -- particularly newborns -- with certain disabilities or medical conditions should die.
"Doctors admit Charlotte is making progress" (Sunday Times)
Baby facing 'inevitable' death is strong enough for trips outside (Sunday Times)