Judges Reject Parents’ Appeal To Keep Baby Charlie Gard Alive

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After an emergency hearing, justices have decided that severely ill, Charlie Gard, should not be allowed to receive experimental medical treatment.

The Supreme court rejected the appeal earlier today, which was made by the parents of 10-month-old Charlie, who has mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare disorder that affects the genetic building blocks that give energy to cells.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates hoped to persuade judges that he should be kept alive so they could take him to the US for alternative treatment.


Both the high court and the court of appeal had previously ruled that life support treatment at Great Ormond Street children’s hospital in London should be stopped, and that Charlie should be allowed to ‘die with dignity’, the Guardian reports.

Chris and Connie want Charlie to receive the experimental treatment in America in the hope it may save his life.

The couple launched a fundraising appeal to help pay for doctors’ bills, the figure has topped £1.3m with more than 83,000 people making donations.


Richard Gordon QC, told the court:

The issue is whether the state has the power to intrude on decisions the parents have made in order to mandate that child’s death before it might come to an end.

We say there’s a boundary beyond which the state cannot simply go without the strongest justification.

These are model parents trying to do all they possibly can for the benefit of their child. Their view on what is best for Charlie differs from the court.

The couple had said they may appeal to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg if they lost at the supreme court

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Great Ormond Street doctors had been continuing to provide life-sustaining treatment pending the court’s decision.

Katie Gollop QC, for Great Ormond Street hospital, told the court:

There are children whose conditions we cannot cure and whose conditions we cannot ameliorate. It happens very often and the parents of that child don’t want to look back later and think there might have been something they could have done for this child which they left undone.

The parents are deemed to be … the sole and only determiner of what can happen. It’s dangerous and it’s power without end.


The courts have heard that Charlie can only breathe through a ventilator and is fed through a tube. In the family division of the high court, Mr Justice Francis said he had made his decision with the ‘heaviest of hearts’ but with ‘complete conviction’ that it was in Charlie’s best interests.

He said:

All of Charlie’s treating doctors at Great Ormond Street are agreed that Charlie has reached the stage where artificial ventilation should be withdrawn, that he should be given palliative care only and that he should be allowed to die peacefully and with dignity.

Charlie has been served by the most experienced and sophisticated team that our excellent hospitals can offer.

Charlie’s life support machine will continue until Friday at 5pm to give Chris and Connie a chance to hear if they can take their case to the European Court of Human Rights, the court said.

So, so sad.