Charlie Gard's parents end legal battle to allow son's treatment in US

Great Ormond Street Hospital
EPACharlie Gard is currently receiving treatment in Great Ormond Street Hospital
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25 July, 2017

A lawyer representing Gard's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard told judge Nicholas Francis at London's High Court that "time had run out" and that they had made their decision after seeing the 11-month-old's latest brain scans.

Charlie Gard's parents have ended their five-month legal battle fighting for treatment for their critically ill baby.

In an emotional statement outside of London's High Court on Monday, Chris Gard said too much time has elapsed in court hearings as the couple fought to have permission to send the child to the United States for experimental medical treatment.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London had argued that the treatment wouldn't help and could cause the child pain, so they challenged the parent's wishes.

With Charlie's mother standing by his side, Gard decried the "time wasted" by court battles and said that as a result of the delays and legal barriers, his son would not live to see his first birthday, on Aug 4.

The hospital has said the best option would be to withdraw life support, but his parents want to take him to the United States for an experimental treatment for his genetic disorder.

Mr Armstrong said damage to Charlie's muscle and tissue was irreversible.

Talking about the experimental medical treatment they wanted him to receive in the U.S., he added: "There is one simple reason it it can not go ahead".

Michael Hirano, professor of neurology at Columbia University in NY examined Charlie and told the court there was a 10 percent chance that the baby could improve.

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However, they were able to take their fight back to the High Court after securing what they say is new evidence. "The parents' worst fears have been confirmed", he said.

Mr Justice Francis has considered the latest stage of the case at public hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

GOSH said in a statement it believed there had been no real change in Charlie's responsiveness since January and medical experts had concluded before Christmas that Charlie had suffered irreversible brain damage so any chance that the experimental US therapy might help had already faded. Both US President Donald Trump and the Pope had offered to intervene to help Charlie receive the treatment.

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) judged that treatment would have been futile and Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Charlie has been examined by a US doctor who has treated similar cases. I can think of few more profound cases than ones where a trust is applying to the court for a declaration that a life-support machine should be switched off in respect of a child.

"Charlie did have a real chance of getting better", Yates told the court earlier Monday, according to Reuters.

Mr Justice Francis paid tribute to Connie and Chris saying: "No parent could have done more for their child".

Charlie's parents chose to take it to the European Court of Human Rights; nevertheless, they rejected the appeal.


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