Charlie Gard: the fight is over

Jerome Frank
July 30, 2017

The parents of Charlie Gard, whose battle to get their critically ill baby experimental treatment stirred global sympathy and controversy, dropped their legal effort yesterday, saying tearfully that it was time to let their son die.

Charlie can breathe only through a ventilator and has been at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London since October 11 previous year.

Charlie suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease, and can not breathe unassisted.

"At this moment it is important to remember that all involved in these agonising decisions have sought to act with integrity and for Charlie's good as they see it".

"We are about to do the hardest thing that we'll ever have to do, which is to let our handsome little Charlie go", he said.

"We've chose to let our son go. he's not braindead but a whole lot of time has been wasted".

After the High Court hearing ended, GOSH said: 'All of GOSH's thoughts go with Charlie and his mother and father - the hospital wishes each of them peace in their hearts at the end of this day and each day to come'. "Now we will never know what would have happened if he got treatment".

"We will have to live with "what ifs" for the rest of our lives", Gard said.

Outside court, Chris Gard said that Charlie "won't make his first birthday in just under two weeks' time".

"To Charlie, we say from Mummy and Daddy we love you so much".

What condition does Charlie have? He also has brain damage.

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On Friday lawyers for GOSH told the High Court that the latest scan carried out on Charlie made for "sad reading". They added that the professor has "a financial interest" in the use of NBT, which they claim he could have profited from, had Charlie been flown to the United States to use it.

"Devastatingly, the information obtained since 13 July gives no cause for optimism".

"Today our hearts go out to them as they face up to the most hard decision that any parent could ever have to make", the spokesperson said.

Charlie's parents had asked European court judges in Strasbourg, France, to consider their claims after losing battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London but Strasbourg judges refused to intervene.

Despite the "sombre prognosis", the hospital's mitochondrial expert contacted global counterparts "to explore the possibility of experimental treatment", Great Ormond Street said in a statement to the court on Monday.

They wanted to take him to the U.S. for experimental treatment with money raised through crowd-funding.

The judge hearing the case, Nicholas Francis, said no parents could have done more for their child.

GOSH applied to the courts to end treatment and block his parents' wishes to take their son to the USA for the experimental therapy. Doctors said it wouldn't help and contended Charlie should be allowed to die peacefully.

"This case is now about time", Mr Armstrong said.

The parents' decision ends months of intense and emotional legal battles that drew the attention of US President Donald Trump and Pope Francis.

He also praised Great Ormond Street staff who had worked "tirelessly". "Families have been harassed and discomforted while visiting their children, and we have received complaints of unacceptable behaviour even within the hospital itself".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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