Parents succeed in UK baby right-to-life case

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    LONDON (Reuters) - The parents of gravely ill baby Charlotte Wyatt finally succeeded on Friday in overturning a legal ruling which had allowed doctors to let her die naturally if her condition worsened.

    Debbie and Darren Wyatt had failed several times before to get the ruling overturned but judges consistently decided it would not be right to attempt to revive her with aggressive invasive treatment if she stopped breathing.

    On Friday, the day of Charlotte's second birthday, High Court judge Justice Hedley changed the ruling that he himself made a year ago.

    His decision came after a review last week in which the parents said their daughter had made good progress and now had a real chance of survival.

    Hedley said doctors should now act in Charlotte's best interests, which meant they could resuscitate her if they thought it would be successful.

    They can however still refuse to resuscitate her if they felt it was against their conscience.

    Charlotte was born three months premature weighing just one pound and measuring five inches. She has remained at hospital in Portsmouth ever since.

    In lifting the previous order, Hedley made it clear that in the future it will be for doctors to decide what is in Charlotte's "best interests."

    "I hope that the trust and confidence of which both Dr K (Charlotte's consultant who cannot be named for legal reasons) and the parents spoke can now develop with a view to securing the best for Charlotte, whether in life or death."

    The parents told reporters outside court they were delighted with the verdict.

    "This is the best birthday present she could ever want, because now Charlotte can get on with her life," Darren Wyatt said. "We haven't got this huge black cloud hanging over us now."

    On hearing the ruling, the family's counsel thanked the judge, to which he responded by asking those who were heading off for the birthday party to convey in "whatever way they could to Charlotte that others were thinking about her."
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