Charlie Gard case: Parents withdraw application to bring sick baby to US
The parents of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard on Monday withdrew their application seeking to take the child to the United States for an experimental medical treatment, with the couple’s lawyer announcing “the window of opportunity has been lost.”
Attorney Grant Armstrong said at London’s High Court it was too late for the 11-month-old child to receive treatment. Recent medical tests revealed Charlie has irreversible muscular damage.
“It’s too late for Charlie,” Armstrong said. “The damage has been done.”
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, cried in the courtroom as the lawyer announced the news — their last bid to seek permission to take their child to the U.S. for treatment. The couple was expected to present new evidence in court on Monday, but arrived in court to say a “whole lot of time has been wasted.”
“I only wanted to give him a chance at life,” Yates said in court, adding that she hopes her son’s life would not be in vain.
Armstrong said the appeal withdrawal is “worthy of a Greek tragedy” and the couple now wishes “to spend the maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie.” Private discussions will be held regarding when Charlie’s life support will be switched off.
Charlie, who was born on Aug. 4, 2016, suffers from a rare genetic condition, Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. He has brain damage and is unable to breathe on his own. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie has been treated since last October, have been locked in a prolong court battle, claiming more treatment would only cause pain to the child. They have argued to switch off Charlie’s life support to allow him to die peacefully.
But Charlie’s parents dispute the claim and have argued that their child should receive every possible treatment until his death.
The case grabbed international attention and received support from leaders such as Pope Francis and politicians.
President Trump also tweeted his willingness earlier in the month to lend a hand – and in doing so exposed the debate over who should make life-and-death decisions for Charlie to a massive audience.
“If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so,” Trump wrote.