A European high court has ruled that a sick child can be taken off of life support, despite his parents’ wishes.
Ten-month old Charlie Gard was born with an extremely rare disease called infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, known as MDDS. This disease is so rare that there are only 16 known cases in the entire world.
Since his birth, Charlie Gard has been living in the intensive-care unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. He is unable to breathe without assistance, suffers from seizures, and has severe brain damage.
Little Charlie Gard doesn’t have a very good chance of living, but his parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, were hopeful that a new treatment available in the United States may help him.
However, according to the National Review, the London hospital appealed to the court system to stop further treatment. In April, the High Court ruled in favor of the doctors and against Charlie’s parents.
When the High Court’s decision was appealed, the Appeals Court upheld it. The last court in the case, the European Court of Human Rights, also upheld the initial court’s decision.
Because of the Court’s decision, Charlie’s parents now have no say in whether he lives or dies, but that decision has instead been transferred to his doctors.
To justify the court’s decision, the judge in the ruling stated that there was no “scientific basis” to believe that Charlie would ever recover. Charlie should be allowed “to die with dignity,” he stated.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: June 30, 2017