February 24, 2024

British judge rules that baby may die

Doctors caring for a critically ill infant may decide if she should be denied life-saving treatment, a judge of the UK High Court has ruled. In a case which has riveted Britain, Sir Mark Hedley said that if her condition deteriorates the child’s hospital can ignore her parents’ insistence that that she be resuscitated.

Eleven-month-old Charlotte Wyatt was born three months prematurely and has severe breathing and neurological problems. She has never been able to leave hospital and has survived only with the help of a life support system. Nevertheless her parents have insisted that she be kept alive at all costs. In his judgement, Sir Mark said that the child should be given three things: "As much comfort as possible, as much time as possible to spend in the presence and in contact with her parents, and she should be allowed to meet her end, in the words of Mr Wyatt, with the TLC of those who love her the most."