Published: Sat, July 01, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Charlie Gard's Life Support To Be Withdrawn After Parents Lose Appeal

Charlie Gard's Life Support To Be Withdrawn After Parents Lose Appeal

Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia (RPT Paglia), president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, on Friday called for respect of the wishes of the parents of a terminally ill 11-month-old, Charlie Gard, who do not want their child to be taken off life support, as scheduled Friday.

The debate over Charlie's life is about balancing the moral dilemma of parental rights versus the state's duties to protect the wellbeing of children.

Now their son is to receive only palliative care, Gard and Yates asked to bring him home to prevent his death occurring in a hospice or hospital.

The court decision means he can't go to the USA for experimental treatment called nucleoside therapy, which his parents wanted. "We know what day our son is going to die but don't get a say in how that will happen".

Doctors detected that baby Charlie had a rare inherited genetic disease known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS), which causes brain damage and muscle weakness.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital were planning to withdraw his life support on Friday but have changed their minds.

In April 2017, the High Court ruled that it was in Charlie's best interest for life support to be ended.

Charlie Gard was born on August 4, 2016.

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Charlie's parents appealed the ruling unsuccessfully several times - first with the Court of Appeals of England and Wales, then with the United Kingdom Supreme Court.

Charlie's parents raised £1.3m on a crowdfunding site to pay for the experimental treatment in the US.

"He'd fight to the very end, but we're not allowed to fight for him anymore", said Charlie's father Chris in a video statement.

Anti-migrant and anti-euro Northern League leader Matteo Salvini said the decision amounted to a "homicide" and strongly criticized doctors for reportedly refusing the parents' request to take their child home to die after their last appeal against their decision was denied. The court allowed the doctors to switch off the life-supporting system.

In response to these claims by Yates and Gard, the Great Ormond Street Hospital refused to comment publicly on their decisions regarding the end of life care of Charlie Gard.

Gard and Yates sought to overturn the ruling at the Court of Appeal, but Mr Justice McFarlane upheld the decision that taking Charlie to the USA would "expose Charlie to harm" with little hope of improving his condition.

"(The) decision by the European Court of Human Rights marks the end of what has been a very hard process and our priority is to provide every possible support to Charlie's parents as we prepare for the next steps", the spokeswoman said.

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