The Worrying Thing The Charlie Gard Case Taught James

Posted July 26, 2017

Connie Yates returned to London's High Court on Tuesday to request permission for her and her partner, Chris Gard, to bring their terminally ill son, Charlie Gard, home to die - just one day after ending their legal fight over treatment of their 11-month-old son.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital treating Charlie in London told a court that the invasive ventilation the infant requires can not be provided to him in his parents' home, suggesting instead that he be transferred to a hospice.

On Monday, Chris Gard and Connie Yates gave up their fight to take 11-month-old Charlie to the U.S. to be treated by Dr. Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Center in NY.

Bambino Gesu previously offered to treat Gard during his parents' battle with United Kingdom courts to overturn the Great Ormond Street Hospital's ruling that the baby should be taken off life support.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street said the therapy would not help.

The renowned children's hospital treating Charlie told a court that the reality of the invasive ventilation the infant requires means that proper end-of-life care can not be provided to him in his parents' home.

The case won worldwide attention after Charlie's parents received support from Pope Francis, U.S. President Donald Trump and some members of the U.S. Congress. The parents' last wish is to take Charlie home. A special area would be made available to them with the option for friends and family to visit.

She said providing intensive care to Charlie outside a hospital setting was not simple. GOSH has fought to end Charlie's life support in his best interest to protect his "dignity" and avoid suffering. After Tuesday's hearing, the High Court would decide whether Charlie would be sent home with his parents.

Among other practical problems, it said, the ventilator would not fit through the front door of Charlie's home.

Francis, who had previously expressed support for the parents in their bid to seek an experimental medical treatment for their son's rare genetic condition, also asked the faithful to join him in prayer so the baby's parents "may find God's consolation and love". "There's one simple reason for Charlie's muscular deterioration [and] that was time", noting the lengthy decisions from the courts of London which restricted Charlie from the US treatment.

They accepted that it was now "too late" as his muscles had deteriorated to a point where treatment would have no benefit.

English courts and the European Court of Human Rights agreed with the healing center.

"Emotions are as high in this case as they could be in any", said the presiding judge, Nicholas Francis.

The hospital said Professor Hirano had not taken the opportunity to see Charlie until last week, despite being offered the chance to do so by the hospital in January.

He says delays in treating Charlie mean his condition is now so poor that treatment will not help.

Addressing the question arguably at the core of the Charlie Gard case, Francis J laid out the circumstances in which the parents' autonomy over their own child can and must sometimes be overridden by the state, in the form of its medical services, this intervention supervised by the courts.