Charlotte Wyatt parents lose appeal to save daughter's life
26 August 2005
The parents of seriously ill baby Charlotte Wyatt yesterday lost their latest appeal in their year-long battle to save their daughter's life.
They were hoping to overturn earlier rulings, which said that Charlotte should not be resuscitated in the event of respiratory collapse, but judges at London's Court of Appeal rejected the plea.
However, a review of the case is to be accelerated, starting next month. [Irish Examiner, 26 August] Since the original ruling in October, Charlotte has surprised doctors by making remarkable progress and she can now see, hear and is able to identify her parents.
The family's lawyer said, "Debbie and Darren (Charlotte's parents) say that, given the improvements in Charlotte's situation ... the doctors should not have in their back pockets an open consent from the court to let Charlotte die regardless of the circumstances at the time and regardless of the views of her parents." [Reuters, 25 August]
Unborn children older than 28 weeks appear to be able to cry in the womb, according to recent research. Scientists from Auckland University in New Zealand played a 90 decibel noise through a speaker on to the stomach of a pregnant woman and recorded the baby's response, which included the child opening its mouth in an action very like crying. Professor Ed Mitchell said, "It was strikingly like an infant crying. Even the bottom lip quivers". This could fuel the current debate on whether unborn children respond to pain. [Sun, 26 August]
A pregnant American woman was reportedly murdered by her ex-boyfriend when she refused to have an abortion. It is alleged that Latoyia Figueroa, 24, who was found dead on Saturday morning, was strangled by twenty five year old Stephen Poaches in a rage when she told him that she did not believe in abortion. [ABClocal Action News, 23 August]
The US Senate is planning a vote on overturning President Bush's limits on using taxpayer funds for embryonic stem cell research. The continued success using adult stem cells and new research showing that embryonic-like stem cells can be obtained without destroying life have prompted pro-life groups to ask Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to put off the vote. However, the vote is still planned for September. In order to succeed, the Senate would need a large number of votes to override the president's threatened veto. [LifeNews, 25 August]
American researchers have received a large grant to research the effects of alcohol on unborn children. The scientists at the University of Iowa aim to reduce foetal alcohol syndrome cases - the most common preventable cause of mental problems and birth defects among babies. The two-year grant is being funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. [Medical News Today, 26 August]
President Vladimir Putin has called the spiralling abortion rate in Russia "a national problem". Russia's population is declining by between 750,000 and 800,000 a year. [LifeSite, 24 August]