Charlie Gard’s parents give up battle to take son to US
LONDON — The parents of the terminally ill British baby Charlie Gard have given up their legal fight over treatment for their son.
Grant Armstrong, the lawyer for Chris Gard and Connie Yates, told the U.K. High Court on Monday that experts have said that the “window of opportunity no longer exists.”
“For Charlie, it is too late … treatment cannot offer a chance of success,” he told the court.
Charlie Gard, now 11 months, was born with a genetic mutation called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.
It leads to weakened muscles and organ dysfunction, among other symptoms. The prognosis is poor for most patients. Charlie is unable to breathe or move on his own.
Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie has been since October, received permission from the European Court of Human Rights in June to discontinue life support.
But his parents wanted to bring him to the United States for an experimental therapy called nucleoside bypass therapy. It has never been used to treat Charlie’s form of mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.
The doctors at GOSH argued every medical option has already been considered and treatment in another country would not be in Charlie’s best interest.
There were fireworks at a pre-court hearing on Friday. The parents stormed out of the proceeding after a lawyer for the hospital said a new brain scan of the ailing baby made for “sad reading,” according to the U.K.’s Press Association.
Upon hearing the lawyer’s comments, Yates began to cry and said, “we haven’t even read it.”
Chris Gard then yelled “evil” and added, “I’m not f****** listening to this biased sh*t anymore.”
The couple left the courtroom after the outburst.
The hospital’s lawyer apologized and told the judge she didn’t mean to cause distress.