Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Charlie Gard’s Parents End Legal Battle, Say It’s ‘Too Late’ For Treatment"

“A whole lot of time has been wasted. Charlie’s quality of life could have been improved greatly (by earlier treatment)."

By Cassy Fiano
Live Action News

It appears that the battle to save Charlie Gard’s life has come to an end. Today was the final day in a hearing that would appeal court decisions barring Charlie’s parents from taking him to the United States for experimental treatment, which they believed could help his condition. In a shocking turn of events, the lawyer representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates announced that they were withdrawing their appeal instead.

Charlie was originally placed on life support after he became seriously ill. He was then diagnosed with a rare RRM2B mitochondrial depletion syndrome. Initially, his parents wanted to take him to the United States for an experimental nucleoside therapy treatment, which they believed could save his life. 

They raised over $1.4 million for his treatment, but Charlie’s hospital – Great Ormond Street Hospital in London – disagreed that the therapy would be beneficial and insisted that Charlie should instead be taken off of life support. The decision sparked a months-long legal battle, with Charlie’s parents losing appeal after appeal, until the European Court of Human Appeals ultimately ruled against them.

The case garnered international attention. A Vatican hospital offered to take in Charlie for treatment, President Trump offered to help baby Charlie, and United States lawmakers introduced a bill to make Charlie and his parents U.S. citizens. However, the hospital and the courts initially held firm and refused to allow Charlie to be treated elsewhere. The hospital also refused to let his parents take him home to die.

As the controversy grew, Great Ormond Street Hospital eventually requested a new court hearing so new evidence could be considered. An American doctor, Dr. Michio Hirano, traveled to London to examine Charlie and to meet with specialists. 

Dr. Hirano was optimistic that the nucleoside therapy could help Charlie, saying British doctors could be wrong in their diagnosis. Instead, Dr. Hirano said, Charlie could be suffering from muscle weakness, and if this is the case, there is up to a 55 percent chance of therapy helping him.

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