LONDON – The legal fight is over: A hospital in the UK will take an infant off life support after his parents failed to convince a court that he could be saved with an experimental treatment.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that keeping 10-month-old Charlie Gard alive would do nothing but prolong his pain, reports the Guardian. He suffers from a rare disease known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, and parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates wanted to take him to the US for experimental treatment.
His UK doctors, however, say it’s hopeless, and parents’ rights are not absolute in the UK in such cases, explains CNN. A number of courts ruled against them, with their last hope being the ECHR.
But the seven justices declined to overrule the British courts. “The decision is final,” said the ruling. Charlie is currently on life support at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, and a spokesperson said the hospital would not “rush” to take him off it.
“Our priority is to provide every possible support to Charlie’s parents as we prepare for the next steps.” The details on where Charlie’s parents had wanted to take him in the US have been kept under wraps during the legal wrangling, and supporters had raised more than $1.6 million to cover expenses.
Medical experts in Britain said the treatment had no chance of saving the infant, but his parents made the case on their website that it was worth a try.
“He literally has nothing to lose but potentially a healthier, happier life to gain,” they wrote.