There has been a lot of media interest this week in the case of Charlotte Wyatt. Charlotte Wyatt suffered serious brain, lung and kidney damage after she was born three months prematurely weighing 1lb in October 2003.Her parents were then forced into a long legal battle to force doctors to give her artificial ventilation.
Despite all expectations, Charlotte has survived various setbacks and is now well enough to leave hospital.Unfortunately, Charlotte’s parents have now separated and due to these circumstances, Social Services are looking for foster carers for Charlotte.
Obviously we do not all the details of the case, however the reaction of the media is worrying. In a BBC Radio 2 phone-in on Monday, I heard callers say that Charlotte should be given a lethal injection if the parents cannot look after her. Other callers mentioned financial resources and seemed to question how the parents dared to split up after they had fought to keep their daughter alive.
It feels to me what is missing is any regard for Charlotte as an individual. Of course it is unfortunate her parents are not currently in a position to take her home, but how people can think that therefore Charlotte shouldn’t have been given a chance of life is beyond me. Are we going to start denying all children medical treatment unless they can prove their parents will stay happily married until they are 18?
This should be a good news story as Charlotte is now well enough to leave hospital and doctors are now measuring Charlotte’s life expectancy in “months and years” rather than “weeks and months” but yet again her parents are being vilified for doing what most parents try to do; Protecting their children.