Mother wins right to end disabled daughter's life

Nancy Fitzmaurice was left in agony after a routine operation in May 2012. Credit: SWNS

A mother has made legal history after she won a High Court case to end the life of her severely disabled 12-year-old daughter.

Nancy Fitzmaurice was born blind and suffering from hydrocphalus, meningitis and septicaemia, which left her unable to talk, walk, eat or drink.

Her quality of life was so poor she depended on round the clock hospital care and was fed, watered and medicated through a tube at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital.

But when a routine operation left her screaming in agony her devoted mother, Charlotte Fitzmaurice, who had given up work to look after her daughter, made the heartbreaking decision to end Nancy's life.

In a landmark case, Great Ormond Street fought on behalf of Charlotte, and dad David Wise, to give her the right to die.

Nancy died on 21 August after doctors withdrew food and fluids. Credit: SWNS

In a statement given to a judge explaining why her daughter should no longer suffer Charlotte said her daughter longed for peace.

After reading the heartbreaking words Justice Eleanor King at the High Court of Justice granted the request and Nancy died in hospital.

The ruling sets a precedent as it is the first time a child breathing on their own, not on life support and not suffering from a terminal illness, has been allowed to die.

In her summing up the judge said Charlotte's love for her daughter is apparent and she had "great admiration" for her devotion to Nancy.