Charlie Gard’s parents have ended their legal fight to seek treatment for their terminally-ill baby in the U.S.
In court today, their legal counsel, Grant Armstrong, told Judge Francis that time has run out for Charlie and even if he were to receive treatment, it wouldn’t offer a chance of success.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates were back in High Court to present fresh evidence to Mr Justice Francis after a five-month legal battle.
Instead, they announced their decision to stop seeking further treatment for terminally-ill Charlie, with those in court saying their supporters looked shocked at the news.
Their barrister told the court ‘this case is now about time’, before adding, ‘sadly time has run out’.
As reported in the Mirror, Mr Armstrong said:
For Charlie it is too late, the damage has been done… it is no longer in Charlie’s best interests to pursue treatment.
Charlie’s parents have previously lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.
They also lost an appeal at the European Court of Human Rights that would allow their critically ill son to undergo experimental treatment in the U.S.
The latest hearing came after the couple received a wave of criticism following reports that Great Ormond Street Hospital had been receiving threats – abuse the couple condoned.
At just 10 months old Charlie was fighting for his life when his rare genetic condition, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, entered into the ‘terminal stages’.
His parents were both unknowingly carrying the faulty gene.
Doctors believe that Charlie, born August 4 last year, is one of only 16 people to have ever suffered from the condition.
The syndrome refers to a group of disorders that cause affected tissues to suffer from a major drop in mitochondrial DNA.
This meant that Charlie did not get any energy to his muscles, kidneys and brain.
The syndrome is typically fatal in infancy and early childhood and there is currently no cure, although some treatments have shown a reduction in symptoms.
His parents set up a fundraising page that raised £1.3 million to try to get Charlie to America for experimental new therapy, called nucleoside bypass.
The therapy could have theoretically repaired Charlie’s mitochondrial DNA, helping it to synthesise again.
However, Charlie’s parents lost their court battle when judges sided with the doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, who called for his ventilator to be switched off, saying it would allowing Charlie to ‘die in dignity’.
Chris and Connie say they now want to make the most of what little time they have left with Charlie and ‘treasure’ their last few days as a family.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.