The case of Charlie Gard took a devastating turn for his parents this week. After months of court battles and appeals, the European Court of Human Rights ruled last week that Gard’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, cannot bring their son to the United States for an experimental treatment. Instead, the ECHR agreed with Charlie’s doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH), who believe Charlie should be allowed to “die with dignity.” The ruling has outraged the family’s supporters, and now some big voices are weighing in.
The little boy, who suffers from an incredibly rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, can’t move his limbs or eat or breathe without assistance. Charlie’s parents believed an experimental medication that’s available in the United States could help him gain a “happier, healthier life,” but his doctors disagreed. GOSH said in a statement, “GOSH concluded that the experimental treatment, which is not designed to be curative, would not improve Charlie’s quality of life.” This set up a lengthy appeal process that ended with the ECHR’s decision last week.
After the ruling, Great Ormond Street Hospital tweeted their response:
The parents of Charlie Gard wrote on their Facebook page that they were “heartbroken.”
The post continued, “We’re not allowed to choose if our son lives and we’re not allowed to choose when or where Charlie dies. We and most importantly Charlie have been massively let down throughout this whole process.”
The Vatican revealed that Pope Francis has been following Charlie’s case “with affection and sadness” and that “he prays that their wish to accompany and treat their child until the end isn’t neglected.”
Even President Donald Trump tweeted about the little boy:
Our hearts go out to Charlie’s parents.
(Image: Facebook / @Charliegardsfight)