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Baby Charlotte To Go Home For First Time
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 30, 2005

PORTSMOUTH, ENGLAND--Few thought it would ever happen.

But Charlotte Wyatt is going home.

Not permanently. Not yet.

Her two-hour home visit scheduled for next Tuesday is a small first step toward her spending all of Christmas at home and, her parents hope, moving home permanently.

Just six weeks ago, the High Court withdrew an order from the previous year that allowed doctors at St. Mary's Hospital to refuse to provide a ventilator for Charlotte if she stopped breathing.

Charlotte was born three months premature on October 21, 2003. Doctors had insisted 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 predicted in October 2004 that she would develop a lung infection during that winter and would stop breathing. At the time, Hedley agreed with the hospital that Charlotte's quality of life was "intolerable" and that it would be in her best interest to leave her to die if her breathing stopped.

Charlotte's parents, Debbie, 24, and Darren Wyatt, 33, resolved to fight to help their daughter stay alive. The Wyatts claim that their daughter reaches out to them, tries to talk and sit up, likes to watch her toys, and is now eating solid foods.

The family is now on a waiting list for a larger home for when Charlotte finally leaves the hospital for good.

"We just want Charlotte home and to get on with our lives now," Mr. Wyatt told the BBC.

"It's like a never-ending battle. But we're not going to give in."

Charlotte's case, along with those of similar children, highlight a 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.

"Brave Charlotte 'home next week'" (BBC News)
Charlotte Wyatt Blog

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