A British court has gone against the parents’ wishes and ordered that a terminally ill infant’s life support be cut off, according to The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights upheld a lower court’s decision to let 10-month-old Charlie Gard die. The boy’s parents argued that new treatments were available in the United States that could help their young son, The Guardian reports.
Court documents revealed that infant Gard suffers from infantile-onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, or MDDS. A rare genetic disorder, MDDS leads to muscle weakness, brain damage, seizures, and liver failure.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, the infant’s parents, announced they will take their baby off of life support this Friday.
“Charlie has been massively let down throughout this whole process,” they wrote. “Charlie will die tomorrow knowing that he was loved by thousands… thank you to everyone for all your support!”
The Washington Post reported that Charlie was unable to lift his head or gain weight. At 2-months-old, he experienced severe lethargy and shortness of breath.
The couple claims to have connected with a US-based doctor who could improve their son’s quality of life.
“It hasn’t been tried on anyone with his gene before (he’s only number 16 in the world ever reported) but it has had success with another mitochondrial depletion syndrome called TK2 which is similar – it’s helping children to get their strength back and live longer!”
“We strongly feel as his parents that Charlie should get a chance to try these medications. He literally has nothing to lose but potentially a healthier, happier life to gain,” they explained.
Though the family raised more than £1.3m to cover their son’s care, British courts determined that hospitals can terminate life-sustaining treatments because Charlie is continually subjected to pain without any chance of improvement. They also deemed that emergent therapies in the US would not benefit the 10-month-old.
The child’s mother said she begged the hospital to keep Charlie alive through the weekend so friends and family could see him one last time. Denied this request, Chris Gard told Daily Mail that they aren’t even allowed to take Charlie home to die.
“He’d fight to the very end, but we’re not allowed to fight for him anymore.”
[Featured Image: GoFundMe]