Two weeks before what would be his first birthday, the parents of Charlie Gard in the UK have made the decision to end the legal battle to save his life.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates have been fighting for permission to let Charlie undergo treatment in the US, as the boy suffers a rare and fatal mitochondrial disease that leads to brain damage and immobility.
But the doctors treating Charlie in the UK labelled the US treatment “experimental” and said it would lead to further suffering if they were to transport Charlie between countries.
Though the couple took the case to the courts, and then to the European Court of Human Rights, their appeals were denied, with the Court of Human Rights declaring the case “inadmissable” at the end of last month.
Now, in a statement delivered to press outside the UK High Court, Chris Gard has said “too much time has been wasted” and that the latest MRI and EEG scans show Charlie’s illness has deteriorated “to the point of no return.”
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“There is one simple reason why treatment cannot now go ahead: We are now in July and our poor boy has been left to lie in hospital for months without any treatment while lengthy court battles have been fought,” Chris Gard told reporters yesterday. “Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal healthy little boy.”
Charlie’s father went onto say that scans earlier in the year showed Charlie was in relatively good condition.