The fight for British infant Charlie Gard’s life ended today after a months-long legal battle.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates said they are ending their legal battle to get their son an experimental treatment. They said Charlie’s condition has deteriorated too much, and it now is clear that the treatment will not help.
Lawyer Grant Armstrong, who represents Charlie’s parents, said experts confirmed that it is too late to treat their son.
The BBC reports Armstrong “told the presiding judge Mr Justice Francis that US neurologist Dr Michio Hirano had said he was no longer willing to offer the baby experimental therapy after he saw the results of a new MRI scan last week.”
“This case is now about time,” Armstrong continued. “Sadly time has run out. … Charlie has waited patiently for treatment. Due to delay, that window of opportunity has been lost.”
Hirano previously said Charlie had an 11 percent to 56 percent chance of benefiting from the experimental treatment. He and a group of doctors examined Charlie last week and gave their expert opinions to the judge. Here’s more from the report:
Speaking from the witness box Ms Yates told the court: “We only wanted to give him a chance of life.”
“A whole lot of time has been wasted,” she added.
She said she hoped Charlie’s life would not be in vain.
Outside court, Charlie’s Army campaigners reacted angrily and chanted, “shame on you judge” and “shame on GOSH”.
Questions remain about whether Charlie could have benefited from the experimental treatment, had it not been delayed for months during the legal battle between Charlie’s parents and the hospital. The court battle began in March.
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Chris Gard and Connie Yates wanted to take their son to the United States for an experimental treatment. They raised more than $1.5 million for his care. His parents said they knew the chance of the experimental treatment working is slim, but they wanted to try anyway for Charlie’s sake.
Charlie has a rare mitochondrial disease and brain damage.
However, the courts and hospital refused to allow them to transfer their son to another hospital for the treatment. About a month ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the hospital can remove Charlie’s life support and allow him to die. However, the hospital recently agreed to consider new evidence involving Charlie’s condition before taking him off the ventilator.
Gard and Yates said their son’s ventilator will be removed soon; and the money they raised for Charlie will be used to set up a foundation in his name.
The parents said they would discuss with the judge and other authorities about how the baby will be allowed to die. Armstrong said the news had left Charlie’s parents extremely distressed and they now “wish to spend the maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie.” The decision comes after experts from around the world met with each other and with the parents, to explore the possibilities for Charlie’s treatment. The results of those tests appear to be so devastating that the parents have agreed that the experimental treatment will no longer help. Charlie has experienced significant muscular atrophy, for instance, as a result of his condition. While the treatment could potentially improve his condition – though doctors have said the chances are low – it would not be able to reverse those effects and so it is too late to pursue that route, the family has agreed. Charlie’s parents said through their lawyer in court that they hope that the case can change the way medical decisions are made in the future. It should be proof that if mitochondrial treatment is going to take place then doctors should begin as soon as they can, they said.
On Friday, Charlie Gard’s parents had enough and they stormed out of a courtroom after a lawyer for the hospital that is refusing to allow them to transfer Charlie to another country said that a new scan of Charlie’s brain is “sad reading.” The hospital made the scan available to the court before Charlie’s parents had a chance to view it.
Despite all of his problems, Charlie’s parents – and millions like them – believe that Charlie is a valuable, living human being who should be given a chance to live.
Leading pro-life advocates helped Charlie’s parents fight for his life.
Charlie’s parents brought Terri Schiavo’s brother Bobby Schindler to London to help them fight for care for their son. Schindler spoke with LifeNews exclusively about their invitation.
Schindler told LifeNews: “We are here by invitation from the family to come alongside them as they struggle to save their son, Charlie. The critical issue here is not a political one, but the simple notion that families know what is best for their loved ones.”
“Charlie’s situation is very reminiscent of my family’s battle to save my sister, Terri. Hopefully being here can help his parents, Connie and Charlie, deal with the day-to-day emotional roller coaster, as they fight for their son’s right to live,” Schindler added.
Sadly, the battle to save Charlie has come to an end.