After weeks of deliberation, judges at the European Court of Human Rights have officially rejected the motion for 10-month-old Charlie Gard to be moved to the U.S. for experimental treatment.
As Faithit previously reported, Charlie was born healthy in August 2016, but two months after birth was diagnosed with a terminal condition called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. Only 16 people have ever been known to have the disorder, which causes rapid weakening of muscles and brain damage—making treatment nearly impossible.
But not completely.
Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates of Bedfont, west London, have raised over $1.6 million to bring their son to America for experimental treatment with a team of doctors who believe they might be able to give Charlie a second chance at life.
But specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London—where Charlie is being cared for—believe Charlie has no chance of survival, and that he should be able to “die with dignity.”
They were so strongly against the experimental treatment in the U.S. that they took Chris and Connie to Court, where judges ruled in favor of the doctors, setting a time-limit on sweet Charlie’s precious little life.
Judges granted permission on April 11 for doctors to discontinue Charlie’s life support as of midnight on May 30. Just before the clock struck 12, Chris and Connie learned the Court of Appeals were to consider the case—extending Charlie’s time a little longer.
The baby boy has been given a total of three shut-off dates up until this point—with the final extension coming on Father’s Day as the European Court of Human Rights required more time to analyze Charlie’s case.
They had given him a three-week extension on June 18, but came to a decision on June 27 concluding that further treatment would “continue to cause Charlie significant harm.” They also lifted the interim measure which had required doctors to continue providing life support to Charlie for three weeks, or the duration of deliberations.
After months of fighting, Chris and Connie have done everything in their power to give their son a fighting chance.
After following this story for the last couple of months, it’s a devastating blow to learn that Charlie’s fight has come to an end.
Reports suggest it is likely Charlie’s life support machine will be shut off within a few days after arrangements are made between the hospital and his family.
Connie has said that they plan to donate all of the funds they raised to a charity for mitochondrial depletion syndrome.
“We’d like to save other babies and children because these medications have been proven to work and we honestly have so much belief in them.”
“If Charlie doesn’t get this chance, we will make sure that other innocent babies and children will be saved.”
As Christians, we know that the only One who has dictatorship over life is the One who gives life itself. I’m still praying for a miracle in these final days as Chris and Connie prepare to say goodbye to their son, and I’m believing for peace that surpasses all understanding for these parents and family.