Charlie Gard's Life Support To Be Withdrawn After Parents Lose Appeal

Connie Yates and Chris Gard with baby Charlie

The bereaved couple claimed that the hospital was "rushing" them by demanding that 10-month old Charlie Gard be removed from life support on Friday (today) and lamenting that the doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital would not allow them to take their baby home to die.

The debate over Charlie's life is about balancing the moral dilemma of parental rights versus the state's duties to protect the wellbeing of children.

The domestic courts concluded that it would be lawful for the hospital to withdraw life sustaining treatment because it was likely that Charlie would suffer significant harm if his present suffering was prolonged without any realistic prospect of improvement, and the experimental therapy would be of no effective benefit.

After numerous other treatments had no effect, his parents wanted to take him to the US for an experimental treatment known as nucleoside bypass therapy.

Charlie was born in August with a rare genetic condition called infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, or MDDS, according to court records.

Earlier in the day, parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates said they had expected Great Ormond Street Hospital to end life support for Charlie on Friday.

"So we chose to take Charlie home to die", his mother said in the video, which was posted on YouTube.

The parents have previously lost legal battles in the U.K.'s High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court to keep their son on life support, the Daily Mail reported.

Richard Gordon QC, who represented Chris and Connie at court, said Charlie's parents wished to exhaust all possible options.

On the other hand, Katie Gollop QC, who represented doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, argued that further treatment would leave baby Charlie in a "condition of existence". The parents had wanted to bring their son home to die, but were told they couldn't do so. "Please respect our privacy while we prepare to say the final goodbye to our son Charlie". The court allowed the doctors to switch off the life-supporting system.

However, the court in Strasbourg, France, ultimately ruled that the imperative to act in Charlie's best interests and not prolong his suffering outweighed the vanishingly small likelihood of successful treatment.

Medical professionals and the highest courts in the United Kingdom and Europe, however, have argued that no amount of treatment can ever make Charlie well.

Charlie has been receiving specialist treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital since October 2016.

"We and most importantly Charlie have been massively let down throughout this whole process".

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