Parents fighting for child's right to be resuscitated


#1

‘Right to life’ parents to appeal

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/4200917.stm

The parents of a seriously-ill baby are to appeal against a High Court decision which gave doctors the right not to resuscitate her if she stops breathing.

Charlotte Wyatt, now 15 months, was born three months premature at St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth, with serious brain, lung and kidney damage.

A High Court judge ruled last October “aggressive” treatment to prolong her life was not “in her best interests”.

Her parents are now returning to court demanding a suspension of the ruling.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gifhttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/start_quote_rb.gif **The sad fact is that the staff caring for her still believe that any slight improvement does not change the seriousness of her underlying condition **http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/img/v3/end_quote_rb.gif

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Charlotte was not expected to live beyond a further year and was likely to succumb to a respiratory infection this winter.

Parents, Darren, 33, and Donna, 23, from Buckland, Portsmouth, have said there is also evidence that she can follow objects with her eyes and hear clapping.

A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said last night: "The fact that Charlotte is still alive and is to some extent showing some limited signs of improvement is a tribute to the skill and expertise of the nursing and medical staff who have delivered such a high level of support to her over the months.

"However, she remains in a critical condition and is not growing.

"Thus the sad fact is that the staff caring for her still believe that any slight improvement does not change the seriousness of her underlying condition.

“There is no independent evidence of the extent of the improvement in Charlotte’s underlying condition.” Lawyers for the Wyatts were expected to return to court on 28 January to argue for the hospital’s right not to resuscitate Charlotte to be suspended for six weeks until independent reports on her health are published.

This should be the parents right I would think. Can this happen in the US, that the governement would act against a parent’s wish?


#2

This sounds to me like a very sad case of prolonging death…not saving a life. Sometimes refusing to accept the clear signs of nature are not doing any glory to God nor are they compassion for the victim. They are a tragic inability to face and responsibly deal with the inevitable.


#3

[quote=Island Oak]This sounds to me like a very sad case of prolonging death…not saving a life. Sometimes refusing to accept the clear signs of nature are not doing any glory to God nor are they compassion for the victim. They are a tragic inability to face and responsibly deal with the inevitable.
[/quote]

I do agree. However, I wonder who is wanting to prevent resusitation?
I get a bit worried that someone has to fight hard to save someones life even if the prognosis is not good. It really should be the other way around.
I am guessing these are the result of guidlines to manage the cost of a government run universal heath care system.


#4

I think we all have to vigilant about health care and its rationing in these days of over-management by bean counters looking to turn a profit instead of MD’s looking to heal their patients. However, if physicians, especially in consultation with other specialists (and not operating in isolation) concur that a condition is terminal and/or irreversible, I find it difficult to advocate spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to prolong a losing battle. In such cases physicians are acting as advocates for a terminal patient–not acting as an obstruction. Resources are not unlimited and the hard decisions to allow inevitable deaths to occur naturally and without super human, hyper-technical intervention must be supported in certain cases.

I’ve never been quite sure about overly aggressive medical intervention. It sometimes has a ghoulish, experimental quality to it. I find examples such as the case promting this thread quite removed from “natural life” and even the notion of reasonable medical care/treatment. I certainly would not want it used on me or my children.


#5

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