A British hospital, after staging a months-long court fight against a plan by the parents of Charlie Gard to obtain him experimental treatment, continued on Tuesday to fight with the parents.
The hospital said it would not allow the 11-month-old infant suffering from a terminal disease to go home to die. Officials explained they were worried about his safety.
So a court ruling is expected on Wednesday whether Chris Gard and Connie Yates will be allowed to take their son home – for his last hours.
CBS reported a lawyer for the family, Grant Armstrong, said the parents had held discussions with the hospital to get permission to bring him home, but there were “obstacles.”
The child suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease, and cannot breathe without help. His parents just on Monday announced they were giving up their legal fight against the hospital and their own government to obtain treatment.
There was the possibility of an experimental treatment in the U.S. that might have helped.
But, it was revealed at the time in court, that the legal battle staged by the hospital against the parents essentially consumed the critical time that the baby should have been getting treatment.
His parents said the result was that because of the delays, the time frame when treatment would have helped had expired, and their son would never be helped by even the experimental treatment.
British courts and the international European Court of Human Rights had come down against the attempt to get the baby help.
But Pope Francis, President Trump and members of the U.S. Congress had argued that the child should be treated as they parents requested.
LifeNews’ Dave Andrusko said the hospital “convinced Justice Francis that it was in Charlie’s ‘best interest’ to die. Then [the hospital] successfully thwarted the attempts of Connie Yates and Chris Gard to have Charlie transferred to an American hospital to undergo experimental nucleoside therapy to address his exceptionally rare and debilitating chromosomal condition – encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS) – in which his cells cannot replenish essential energy.
“Yesterday Connie and Chris reluctantly, tearfully agreed: it was too late. Charlie had not been treated, allowing ‘his illness to deteriorate, sadly, to the point of no return,’ as Connie told Justice Francis.
“All the parents are asking is to allowed to take their child home to die. No can do, says the hospital’s lawyer, Katie Gollup. (The attorney representing Charlie’s guardian, Victoria Butler-Cole, was her typically unhelpful self, according to tweets provided this morning by legal expert Joshua Rozenberg.)”
He explained: “GOSH has worked assiduously since April to ensure that Charlie gets dead. Now, not only can the ventilator supposedly not fit through the front door (and, to repeat, I am not making this up), the only way Charlie’s ventilator can be properly provided is in a hospital setting.”
Charlie’s parents said, after it became apparent that time had run out for their son, “A whole lot of time has been wasted.”
“We are now in July and our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought,” the parents’ statement continued. “Tragically having had Charlie’s medical notes reviewed by independent experts, we now know had Charlie been given the treatment sooner, he would have had the potential to be a normal healthy little boy. Despite his condition in January, Charlie’s muscles were in pretty good shape and far from showing irreversible catastrophic structural brain damage.”
Others are also blaming Charlies terminal condition – he’s expected now to be treated only with palliative care until he dies – on the delay caused by the court battle after Great Ormond Street Hospital decided he should be allowed to “die with dignity.”
Wesley Smith at the National Review said: “Charlie’s condition was degenerating. He is in worse shape now than he was four months ago. Had the hospital allowed the U.S. specialist to examine Charlie when the parents first wanted, he might have then been eligible for the experimental medical Hail Mary pass they hoped to attain for him.
“The question of stopping Charlie’s life support was a value judgment, not a medical determination,” Smith continued. “The doctors didn’t insist on stopping treatment because it was not working, but because it was. Charlie was being kept alive as desired by his parents when the doctors believed it was better for the baby to die sooner rather than later.”
Bobby Schindler, brother of Terri Schiavo who has been in London assisting the Gard family with their court case, agreed.
“The U.K. medical and legal fields let Charlie languish and deteriorate to the point where treatments that have worked for other children like him no longer had a chance,” Schindler said. “Charlie Gard is a victim of a culture of medical indifference that turned out to be as corrosive and ultimately lethal as was his underlying genetic condition.”
“I remember the comfort my family received from the tremendous popular support we received from people all around the world,” he told WND.com.
Schiavo died in 2005 after a court ordered removal of her feeding tube and water at the request of her husband. Since then, Schindler has devoted himself to defending medically vulnerable people.
WND reported earlier this year on the 12th anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo. The media and her husband, Michael Schiavo, asserted Terri was in a “persistent vegetative state,” but her parents and brother, Bobby Schindler, insisted otherwise, claiming she was able to swallow, laugh and express love for her family.
In 1990, Terri, at age 26, collapsed in her St. Petersburg, Florida, home for a reason that still hasn’t been explained and was taken to a hospital by first responders who feared she was dead. She was comatose for a time, then started responding and was moved to a care center. Her family members say she was getting better before her court-ordered starvation.
WND has been reporting on the Terri Schiavo story since 2002. Read WND’s unparalleled, in-depth coverage of her life-and-death fight, including more than 150 original stories and columns.