Bri­tish baby at core of court fight dies

Par­ents had sought trial ther­apy in Amer­ica for ter­mi­nally ill son

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NEWS - DAN­ICA KIRKA AND JILL LAW­LESS In­for­ma­tion for this ar­ti­cle was con­trib­uted by Leonore Schick of The As­so­ci­ated Press.

LON­DON — Char­lie Gard, the ter­mi­nally ill Bri­tish baby at the cen­ter of a le­gal and eth­i­cal bat­tle that at­tracted the at­ten­tion of Pope Fran­cis and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, died Fri­day. He was one week shy of his first birth­day.

Char­lie’s par­ents fought for the right to take him to the United States for an ex­per­i­men­tal med­i­cal treat­ment for his rare ge­netic dis­ease, mi­to­chon­drial de­ple­tion syn­drome, which left him brain dam­aged and un­able to breathe un­aided. His case ended up in the courts when doc­tors op­posed the plan, say­ing the untested ther­apy wouldn’t help Char­lie and might cause him to suf­fer.

“Our beau­ti­ful lit­tle boy has gone, we’re so proud of him,” his mother, Con­nie Yates, said in a state­ment.

Char­lie’s le­gal case be­came a flash point for de­bates on the rights of chil­dren and par­ents, on health care fund­ing, med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions, the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of hos­pi­tals and med­i­cal work­ers, and the role of the state.

The pope re­acted quickly to the news of Char­lie’s death, tweet­ing late Fri­day, “I en­trust lit­tle Char­lie to the Fa­ther and pray for his par­ents and all those who loved him.”

Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence tweeted, “Sad­dened to hear of the pass­ing of Char­lie Gard. Karen & I of­fer our prayers & con­do­lences to his lov­ing par­ents dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time.”

Char­lie’s par­ents raised more than $1.7 mil­lion to pay for the ex­per­i­men­tal treat­ment they be­lieved could pro­long his life, but Bri­tish courts con­sis­tently ac­cepted the hospi­tal’s po­si­tion, rul­ing that it was in Char­lie’s best in­ter­est that he be al­lowed to die.

His par­ents gave up their month­s­long le­gal bat­tle Mon­day af­ter scans showed that Char­lie’s mus­cles had de­te­ri­o­rated so much that the dam­age was ir­re­versible.

Upon an­nounc­ing their de­ci­sion, they wrote: “Mummy and Daddy love you so much Char­lie, we al­ways have and we al­ways will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you.”

Fam­ily of Char­lie Gard via AP

This is an un­dated photo of 11-month-old baby Char­lie Gard pro­vided by his fam­ily, taken at Great Or­mond Street Hospi­tal in Lon­don.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.