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Parents go to court to battle for the life of a severely disabled baby.

(75 Posts)
wannaBe Mon 02-Nov-09 10:58:19

except this time they are on opposite sides

God how awful.

2shoeshissbangwhoosh Mon 02-Nov-09 11:07:19

just seen this in sn, imo all about money(not the parents)

bananaskins Mon 02-Nov-09 16:28:28

What happened to Charlotte Wyatt? IIR the docs said she had absolutely no hope of survival, yet I'm pretty sure I saw her with her parents on the news a couple of years later?

PeachyInCarnivalFeathers Mon 02-Nov-09 16:34:11

IMO its very simple- it is essential that the parents have the right to take to court any cases where they feel the wrong decision is being made for their child

And sometimes,the parents will not agree

There is often no right or wrong (apart from the life isprecious thing) and as such lots of grey areas so that both stances are understandable.

Its a sad thing,and natural that it has come to court in this way- forcing the opinion of the Mother of the father without due process would be wrong, whereas one can also see that the Mother would see the idea of death as a blessed release.... nor tights orwrongs.

If it wereme and the child really sin't brain damaged, then I would say no to switching off the life suport, but ask ten peoplea nd you'd get ten different answers no doubt

wannaBe Mon 02-Nov-09 16:34:41

she survived.

However her parents were then unable to care for her and she went into foster care. sad but afaik there is a press embargo on the case so details of her are no longer allowed to be reported.

wannaBe Mon 02-Nov-09 16:39:03

from what I've been able to find on google (and there is very little due to the press ban) it appears all the wyat children were taken into care. But that was several years ago.

itsmeolord Mon 02-Nov-09 16:44:07

This is utterly awful, this will be the first case where a child who does not have extensive brain damage would have treatment withdrawn if I have read all the facts correctly.
The father wants the child home and has taken video to be used as evidence of the child playing contentedly and happily in hospital.
The child is aware of his surroundings etc etc.

I hate cases like this, there is a parent who wants to bring his child home and care for him, to withdraw treatment for a child who is fully aware of the world around them is just unspeakably cruel in my opinion.
I hate the presumption that a life with severe disability is a lesser life and I hate that presumption that we have the right to decide whether or not to continue that life.

Why do we advance medicine to keep people alive who have severe respiratory problems alive for example, if we are then going to withdraw that treatment?

OK, so I probably sound very emotive about this, but it just seems so utterly wrong.

PeachyInCarnivalFeathers Mon 02-Nov-09 16:52:41

I agree itsmeolord....I think Mother should ahve a right to go to court if wished but if it actually happened it would, IMO, be horrific and totally unsupportable

Mamazonarocket Mon 02-Nov-09 17:00:55

I can see the merit of both arguments.

I was there when My boyfriends parents decided to switch his machine off ( he was attacked and left in a coma. after 5 weeks they did brain function tests which showed he had no chance of coming out of the coma)

He was 23. It was the most painfull thing i have ever seen. It literally tore them apart. knowing that to keep him alive purely for selfish reasons was wrong and yet facing the fact that they would effectivly be killing him by switching the machine off.....I am so glad it was nbot my decision to make.

For a mother to feel so passionatly that her baby should be spared the pain of further intervention that she is willing to go to court..... it must be absolutly horrificly painfull.

It is not for us to judge, and we certainly cannot call her cruel. she is after all also siding with the opinions of the DR's caring for him.

2shoeshissbangwhoosh Mon 02-Nov-09 17:05:19

even with extensive brain damage a baby/child/adult can live a happy full life.
I think it is tragic that death can be seen as "better" by the very people whp are supposed to save lives.

2shoeshissbangwhoosh Mon 02-Nov-09 17:10:07

I wouldn't judge the mother, I assume she is doing it out of love for her child, but cases like this do affect a lot of people. If this is allowed it will affect other families.

SherryMerryLennipillar Mon 02-Nov-09 20:13:04

Just googled Charlotte and there was a press article in March this year with an interview with Charlotte Wyatt's father in which he said she was still alive at 5 years old.

itsmeolord Mon 02-Nov-09 20:13:50

Sorry twoshoes, I just want to make it clear that I do think that a person can have a happy and full life with extensive brain damage, I was talking specifically about this case which is why i referred to the fact that the child is reported not to have brain damage. If you see what i mean..... will stop rambling now. blush

edam Tue 03-Nov-09 11:23:11

Terrible thing for everyone involved. I heard a radio news story which explained that sometimes he has to be taken off the ventilator for a few moments when some procedures are carried out, and that the doctors think it must feel like he is being suffocated (and would die if not put back on the ventilator PDQ). I can understand why the mother thinks this is unbearable.

If the tracheotomy idea was a possibility, I'm pretty sure the doctors would have considered it, and must have good reason for rejecting it.

edam Tue 03-Nov-09 11:24:28

and it's not brain damage that's the issue, it's the inability to breathe unaided. The fact that he has no brain damage and is fully aware of pain/suffocation/everything makes it even worse in a way (although I wouldn't presume to know how a child with brain damage would be feeling, either).

2shoeshissbangwhoosh Tue 03-Nov-09 11:25:23

maybe because of the cost......the cost of care will be massive, I should imagine he would need a nurse 24/7(just going by a young lad I know)

mamadiva Tue 03-Nov-09 11:45:58

Maybe my little brain is simplifying it but is'nt swicthing off a severely disabled childs life support basically Euthanasia (sp?)

I really don't know where I would stand if I were put in this situation, I can see why both sides think they are doing what's best.

My heart goes out to the whole family and I hope that they can learn to live and cope with whatever decision they have to make

CarGirl Tue 03-Nov-09 11:52:20

"If the tracheotomy idea was a possibility, I'm pretty sure the doctors would have considered it, and must have good reason for rejecting it"

In the article is sounds as though the drs think the tracheotomy is possible but would give him a "poor quality of life" I don't think that is there judgement to make tbh.

I wonder if the father is proposing to become a full time carer to look after him at home.

mamadiva Tue 03-Nov-09 11:55:09

It said on the news that the parents split last year and that the little boy has never been out of hospital which is why the father is hoping for a trach.

wannaBe Tue 03-Nov-09 12:01:12

As much as the nhs is under increasing financial pressure, I really don't think that they would kill someone purely to save money.

Reallytired Tue 03-Nov-09 16:46:07

I don't think that brain damage has anything to do with it. Its nothing to do with how intelligent the child is. There are plenty of children who are terminally ill who do not have brain damage.

What would you do with a young child who was terminally ill with cancer? If you had a child with advanced cancer then it might be kinder to allow nature to take its course. Sometimes children in advanced stages of cancer have had enough and want pallitive care rather than aggressive treatment.

I don't think anyone wants to kill the child, they just want what is best.

It is a horrific situation and maybe both parents have a point. It is why the case has been taken to court so that the best decision is made.

Fruitbatlings Tue 03-Nov-09 17:06:49

I have very close friends with a little DD (1yr) with a form of congenital Myasthenia like baby RB (but not quite as bad). She is constantly in and out of hospital. She is fed through a tube and has just had an operation on her stomach to prevent her being sick as it could kill her sad. If she gets the slightest cold she is in intensive care. It's really sad. I can't imagine what baby RB's parents are going through. My friends are on a permanent rollercoaster. One minute she's absolutely fine (as much as she can be anyway) and the next minute she has stopped breathing and has gone blue. It's awful sad
She will hopefully improve a little at age 4 or 5 but will never have a decent life.
I have absolutely no idea what I would do in the situation of baby RB, I'd like to say I'd want the machines kept on but you never know unless you're faced with it do you

MrsChemist Tue 03-Nov-09 19:10:45

mamadiva - it's quite a fine line, but the difference is essentially that they are withdrawing care, not administering anything to bring about his death. It's the difference between killing and letting die.
Although to the parents in this situation I can only assume that they are one and the same. sad I hope I never have to make such a difficult decision.

bumpsoon Tue 03-Nov-09 20:44:05

i dont see how a trachy would help ? if the muscles that control breathing are so inhibited he has to be ventilated ? unless they are going to offer some sort of portable ventilation for at home .But even so he would need regular suction surely and therefore someone trained to do it 24hrs a day ,although i suppose the father could be trained if he was willing .Not a respiratory expert as you can probably tell. Also i heard he has no gag or swallow reflex ,so he must be tube fed ,nasogastric or PEG ,again the father could be trained to look after this aspect of his sons care .All in all a very sad case , I hope the father wins the case and is able to take his child home regardless of cost ,as if it improves the childs quality of life ,even for a very short time ,surely it will have been worthwhile sad

rasputin Tue 03-Nov-09 20:51:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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