The Denver Post - - NEWS -

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 U.S. 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.

A fam­ily spokes­woman, Ali­son Smith-Squire, con­firmed Char­lie’s death on Fri­day, a day af­ter a judge or­dered that he be taken off a ven­ti­la­tor at the Great Or­mond Street Hospi­tal in Lon­don and moved to an undis­closed hos­pice.

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

Char­lie was seem­ingly healthy at birth but soon be­gan to weaken.

Un­der Bri­tish law, the courts com­monly in­ter­vene when par­ents and doc­tors dis­agree on treat­ment for a child. The rights of the child take pri­macy over the par­ents’ right to de­cide what’s best for their off­spring. The prin­ci­ple ap­plies even when par­ents have an al­ter­na­tive point of view, such as re­li­gious be­liefs that pro­hibit blood trans­fu­sions. The case made it to Bri­tain’s Supreme Court as Char­lie’s par­ents re­fused to ac­cept ear­lier rul­ings.

The case caught the at­ten­tion of Trump and the pope in late June af­ter the Euro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights re­fused to in­ter­vene.

Gard fam­ily photo

Eleven-month-old Char­lie Gard.

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