Hospital to turn off life support for sick British baby, parents say

Hospital to turn off life support for sick British baby, parents say

Friday, June 30, 2017 12:51 pm

Baby Charlie: (BBC Photo)

A London Hospital is expected to turn off life support for a baby with a rare disease and brain damage on Friday, after his parents lost a legal battle against the doctors’ decision, the parents said in a video statement.

The parents were prevented by doctors at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital from taking the 10-month-old infant, widely known as Baby Charlie, to a therapy trial in the United States for a rare genetic condition that causes muscle weakness and brain damage.

“We are utterly heartbroken, spending our last precious hours with our baby boy,’’ parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates said.

“We’re not allowed to choose if our son lives, and we’re not allowed to choose when or where Charlie dies,’’ they said.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rejected an appeal by the parents on Tuesday, ruling that the case had been meticulously examined by the British courts.

The British courts had concluded that the child was probably suffering continued pain and distress that would be prolonged by “undergoing experimental treatment with no chance of success.’’

In the video statement via YouTube, Yates said the couple had “promised our little boy every single day that we would take him home because that was a promise we thought we could keep.

“We can’t even take our own son home to die, we’ve even been denied that,’’ Gard added.

Charlie suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome.

He is believed to be one of only 16 children worldwide with the disease, the BBC reported. (dpa/NAN)

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