Voices For Life

Voices for Life is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. We cover issues from conception until natural death, as well as all family life issues.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Judge Says Hospital Can Remove Baby’s Life Support Without His Parents’ Consent

The family said they are considering an appeal, and spending as much time as they can with Charlie

By Micaiah Bilger
Life News

A British judge decided Tuesday to allow a London hospital to remove a baby boy’s life support, despite his parents’ objections.

The baby, Charlie Gard, was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease called mitochondrial depletion syndrome a few months after he was born. The disease makes his organs and muscles very weak, and he uses a ventilator to breath and feeding tube to receive sustenance.

The hospital in London, England that has been caring for him recently asked a judge to allow doctors to remove Charlie’s life support without his parents’ permission, the Daily Mail reported in March.

On Tuesday, High Court Justice Francis gave the hospital permission to do so, arguing that removing Charlie’s life support and allowing him to die is in his best interest, according to the Catholic News Agency.

His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have been fighting the hospital’s plan, and trying to raise money for an experimental treatment in America that could help their son.

The BBC reports Charlie’s family was visibly distressed in the courtroom when the judge read his decision Tuesday, and his father, Chris Gard, yelled “no” and began crying.

The family said they are considering an appeal, and spending as much time as they can with Charlie. Hospital leaders said they will not remove Charlie’s life support until the family makes a final decision about appealing, according to the report.
In his decision, Justice Francis responded to questions about why the parents should not be allowed to make this decision for their son.

“The answer is that, although the parents have parental responsibility, overriding control is vested in the court exercising its independent and objective judgment in the child’s best interests,” he wrote. “The Great Ormond Street Hospital has made an application and it is my duty to rule on it, given that the parents and the hospital cannot agree on the best way forward.”

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