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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Judge delays baby Charlotte order
Charlotte Wyatt
Charlotte's parents say she has made "remarkable progress"
A judge has reserved judgement in the case of a severely-ill girl whose parents are fighting to have an order not to resuscitate her overturned.

Earlier on Friday, Debbie Wyatt, 24, gave evidence for the first time in the long-running legal battle over her daughter Charlotte's medical treatment.

Mrs Wyatt and her husband Darren, 33, from Portsmouth, want the order lifted.

Mr Justice Hedley is expected to give his judgement on 21 October, which is Charlotte's second birthday.

The order means that doctors would not be acting unlawfully if they decided not to ventilate 23-month-old Charlotte artificially in a life-threatening situation, after concluding that it would not be in her best interests to do so.

Mr and Mrs Wyatt were both in the witness box on the second day of the review of the case by the judge at London High Court.

Mrs Wyatt pleaded with the judge, saying: "I would just like the order lifted and have Charlotte home."

Mr Wyatt also told him: "I can't cope if it carries on. If that order remains, I can't cope."

If there is hope, we would want her ventilated
Debbie Wyatt, mother

The judge told Mr Wyatt that there had been "very serious difficulties between you and the hospital", and that this could not be disregarded.

Mr Wyatt told the court that he and his wife would be able to discuss Charlotte's condition with doctors in a "civilised manner".

Mrs Wyatt said they would never fight for treatment which would cause their daughter suffering, but "if there is hope, we would want her ventilated".

On Thursday, a consultant treating Charlotte said she was not suffering, felt pleasure and had a tolerable quality of life.

But the doctor, referred to as Dr K, told the hearing he was concerned about treatment if she suffered a "major collapse".

Mr Justice Hedley also heard medical evidence from experts called on behalf of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

In August, Mr and Mrs Wyatt, who are devout Christians, lost their attempt to persuade three Court of Appeal judges to overturn the order.

Charlotte, was born three months prematurely in October 2003, was five inches long and weighed only 1lb (0.45kg).

She has serious brain, lung and kidney damage and has not yet left the hospital.

But according to her parents, Charlotte now smiles, reaches out to them and tries to talk.

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