Charlie Gard’s parents have lost their fight to take their sick son to a hospital in the US for trial treatment, after judges at the European Court of Human Rights rejected a plea to intervene in his case.
After desperately asking for support from the European Court to take their son to the US for treatment, Charlie’s parents’ final plea has been rejected.
The ruling means that Chris Gard and Connie Yates have no other option than to let their son’s life support machine be turned off by Great Ormond Street Hospital, where specialists have said he has no chance of survival.
Chris and Connie pictured leaving The Supreme Court yesterday
European Court judges have now said that Charlie was ‘being exposed to continued pain, suffering and distress’ and that trying experimental treatment with ‘no prospects of success… would offer no benefit’.
They concluded that the application created by Chris and Connie was ‘inadmissible’ and that the court’s decision was ‘final’.
Charlie is currently on a life support machine, but according to BBC health correspondent Fergus Walsh this will be turned off in a few days, after the court ‘also considered that it was appropriate to lift the interim measure’ which had required doctors to continue providing treatment to Charlie.
Previously Chris and Connie had taken their case to The High Court where the judge had said it was with a ‘heavy heart’ he denied the parents the chance to fight to keep their son alive.
Connie and Chris, from London, raised over 1.2 million in public donations with the help of 82,000 people, which they intended to use for experimental treatment for their son.
Charlie was born with a rare condition
But judge Justice Francis said that his decision was in ‘complete conviction for Charlie’s best interests’, believing that further treatment would be unable to reverse his brain damage and be ‘potentially painful but incapable of achieving anything positive for him’.
The judge announced to the court, ‘Great Ormond Street Hospital may lawfully withdraw all treatment save for palliative care to permit Charlie to die with dignity.
‘I want to thank Charlie’s parents for their brave and dignified campaign on his behalf. But more than anything to pay tribute to their absolute dedication to their wonderful boy, from the day that he was born’.
The couple’s solicitor, Laura Hobey-Hamsher, said, ‘Connie and Chris are facing every parent’s worst nightmare. They are struggling to understand why the court has not at least given Charlie the chance of treatment in America.’
Donations were still being made to Charlie’s GoFundMe page after the court ruling, with many well-wishers hoping that the family could make a successful appeal.
The couple have suggested that the money raised will be used to set up a charity for children with similar conditions.
Charlie’s story was originally shared by his parents on their GoFundMe page, where they explain what happened after they welcomed him in August last year.
Charlie was born with mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a condition that is fatal if untreated.
‘Our gorgeous little 7 month old boy Charlie has a devastating disease called mitochondrial depletion syndrome. Me and his Daddy Chris are both carriers of a faulty gene’, the parents explained on the page.
‘He was born on the 04/08/16 perfectly healthy but then he started to decline. We took him into hospital at 8 weeks old and none of us have been anywhere near home since.
‘We have been with Charlie day in, day out; watched our poor baby get weaker and weaker, he now needs a ventilator to breathe but we have never lost hope throughout all this time!’
Little Charlie and his parents gained support from many people throughout their fight, including celebrities like Sam Faiers and Lauren Goodger.
Before the court date, stars used their social media influence to draw attention to their cause.
Sam Faiers posted a sweet message on Instagram, urging fans to donate: ‘Just imagine after taking your 2 month old precious baby home they are diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder.
‘Charlie has only 4 DAYS LEFT to raise £700k for the chance of living a happy life. Words can’t describe how I feel for Charlie’s parents who have been by Charlie’s side for 7 months in the hospital & not left for a minute.
‘In 4 days this beautiful baby boy could die if the judge decides to turn Charlie’s life support off. PLEASE Donate as little as £5 🙏🏼 I have 1.8 million followers & if you see this I am asking you to donate and share’.
Lauren Goodger also joined the cause, saying how touched she was by Charlie’s story.
‘Please help save this baby boy Charlies life! I’ve just seen this story and it’s touched me! He can live but we all need to help raise money for his treatment and it’s only 5 days left!!’, Lauren wrote on her Instagram.