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Charlie Gard’s parents end fight for treatment

by Leigh Jones
Posted 7/24/17, 10:35 am

Charlie Gard’s parents ended their bid to get an experimental treatment for their 11-month-old son today after doctors determined he had irreversible muscular damage. Lawyer Grant Armstrong blamed the long delay in treating Charlie for ending his chance at life: “It’s too late for Charlie. The damage has been done.” While Armstrong made his statement during today’s London High Court hearing, Chris Gard and Connie Yates sat nearby, weeping. Gard and Yates began a legal fight for their son’s treatment earlier this year after doctors at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital said they would shut off the baby’s life support. The court previously sided with the hospital but agreed earlier this month to reconsider after learning a U.S. geneticist thought he might be able to help the baby. Yates told the court Monday they “only wanted to give him a chance of life.’' Charlie has a rare genetic condition, mitochondrial depletion syndrome, that left him unable to move or breathe on his own. His parents wanted to take him to the United States for treatment, but British officials refused to give him permission to leave the country. Last week, a U.S. doctor traveled to London to examine Charlie in person. Armstrong told the court nothing more could be done for the baby.

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Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.

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    Posted: Mon, 07/24/2017 09:28 pm

    The other great tragedy here is the ideology in Europe — that government has the final authority over children. This ideological has infiltrated many American minds and will continue to do so if we don't speak the truth.

  • Hans's picture
    Posted: Tue, 07/25/2017 10:58 am

    I think that this is an over-simplification. No civilized person (I think) would argue that the parents have absolute authority over their children, which is precisely why we prosecute child abuse, for example. Or perhaps a better example might be the fact that the US government does not allow parents to withhold treatment from their children who are suffering life threatening conditions on the basis of their (misguided) belief in faith healing. This seems to me to be legitimate, even if it establishes a boundary on parental rights (and freedom of religion). The state always grants some degree of latitude to the parents and then draws the boundaries somewhere. In this case, the state drew the boundaries at flying a dying child across the Atlantic to receive experimental treatment for which there was no evidence that it would be beneficial to him. I understand that the situations are different (or even inverted)--don't get me wrong--but in some sense the legal principle is the same.

  • Brendan Bossard's picture
    Brendan Bossard
    Posted: Thu, 07/27/2017 10:08 pm

    Charlie Gard should be on the tongue-tips of all who oppose centralized healthcare.