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Parents of Charlie Gard end legal battle with United Kingdom hospital

28 July 2017

President Donald Trump even weighed in, taking to Twitter to write on July 3: "If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the United Kingdom and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so".

Charlie, 11 months old, suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, an often fatal disease that causes progressive muscle weakness.

Lawyers told a judge that Connie Yates and Chris Gard want a choice in "the circumstances in which Charlie's passing will be conducted" a day after they abandoned legal action over treatment for their son.

After worldwide leaders including Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump voiced their support for Charlie and his parents, the courts allowed medical experts to conduct additional tests on the infant.

Outraged campaigners under the name Charlie's Army have called for a "Charlie's Law" which would allow parents of sick infants to take their children overseas for treatment without a lengthy court process. The treatment was considered by Charlie's clinical team but in January 2017 the team reached the sad conclusion that, given the severity of Charlie's condition, the treatment was "incapable of achieving anything positive for him".

The judge said it is in Charlie's best interests to be moved to a hospice and have his ventilation tube removed unless other plans can be made before midday tomorrow. Charlie's parents however objected to Charlie's treatment being withdrawn, because they believed that he should have the opportunity undergo nucleoside therapy. Presiding judge Nicholas Francis said emotions are high in this case.

Justice Francis, who is presiding over the case, will make a decision today, according to The Mirror.

11 April: Mr Justice Francis says doctors can stop providing life-support treatment.

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She said Great Ormond Street staff had found an "excellent hospice" that would give Charlie and his parents the space, privacy and protection they needed.

3 May: Charlie's parents ask Court of Appeal judges to consider the case.

Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said in a July 24 statement that Pope Francis, who had taken a personal interest in the case, "is praying for Charlie and his parents and feels especially close to them at this time of vast suffering".

The case returned to the High Court earlier this month to hear new medical evidence from a U.S. doctor. However, after seeing a new MRI scan this week, Hirano declined to offer the therapy. It is therefore hard to understand why Charlie could not die at home.

They have stood in court as their right to decide what is best for their little boy was taken from them.

"It was, therefore, with increasing surprise and disappointment that the hospital listened to the Professor's fresh evidence to the Court".

Nigel has been following the case closely, but has been left with one burning question.

Kennedy wrote that the court's decision was just, arguing that the judicial system must have the final say and only be concerned "for the child and the child's interests".

Parents of Charlie Gard end legal battle with United Kingdom hospital