Girl, 2, 'should be allowed to die'

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The Independent Online

The new order overturns a ruling made last October that the two-year-old had improved to the point where she should be be ventilated if she stopped breathing.

Lawyers for Portsmouth Hospital went back to the High Court on Thursday after "a very significant" deterioration in her condition. She is suffering from an aggressive viral infection that is making it difficult for her to breathe.

Doctors said the next 24 hours were crucial. Charlotte is receiving oxygen through a box around her head but the clinicians treating her wanted the right not to put her on an artificial ventilator, arguing that aggressive resuscitation would only prolong her suffering. Her parents, Darren and Debbie Wyatt, say she should be given every possible treatment to keep her alive.

Mr Justice Hedley said: "The circumstances have now arisen where the court should make clear that in the best interests of Charlotte, the medical profession should be free to refrain from intervention by the way of intubation and ventilation. The test that the court uses is what is in the best interests of Charlotte."