News Worms
News Worms


United Kingdom officials resist diplomatic pressure to allow treatment of Charlie Gard

United Kingdom officials resist diplomatic pressure to allow treatment of Charlie Gard

Britain's foreign secretary has backed the decision by United Kingdom courts to refuse to allow a terminally ill child to travel overseas for treatment for a rare genetic condition.

On Tuesday, the parents lost a bid to take Charlie to the US for trial therapy when the European Court of Human Rights sided with earlier rulings that continued treatment would cause "significant harm" and that life support should end. His parents have lost several legal battles in the fight to prolong the life of their son, including a request to send him to the United States for experimental treatment.

The hospital has offered to keep Charlie on life support and allow his parents to decide "how to handle" ending his life, including when to switch off life support, it said.

'Minister Alfano also raised the case of Charlie Gard and the Pope's recent offer of treatment in Italy.

Reacting to the European court ruling, a spokesperson for the Catholic bishops' conference said the definitive ruling that "baby Charlie Gard can not undergo any further treatment is heartrending, most particularly for his parents and family".

The unnamed hospital has allegedly offered a new experimental treatment at no cost - if he is granted permission to travel. But Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie has been receiving treatment since October, has decided that withdrawing life support is the only reasonable and humane option, and refuses to release Charlie to his parents' custody. He was born healthy but within a couple of months of life he began to deteriorate and is now on life support at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, England.

Eleven-month-old Charlie Gard has irreversible brain damage and can not see, hear, move or even cry, doctors say.

Charlie Gard in hospital
PACharlie suffers from the rare genetic condition mitochondrial depletion syndrome

His parents, both in their 30s and from Bedfont, west London, are now spending the last days of their 10-month-old son's life with him, after being given more time before his life-support is turned off.

Charlie suffers from a rare mitochondrial condition and has severe brain damage.

Charlie's parents are struggling to save their child's life, and in order to fulfill this endeavor, they have raised almost $2 million through donations. "This is an incredibly hard decision for the court, and it's not one that the doctors or the court have taken lightly".

Previously, a Vatican bioethics advisory panel had made a statement on the need to accept the limits of what medicine can do.

"He prays for them, wishing that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end will be respected".

"But I also know that no doctor ever wants to be placed in the awful position where they have to make such heartbreaking decisions", she said.

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