Background informations by Washington Post
Charlie Gard has a rare genetic condition and resulting brain damage that has robbed him of his ability to move his arms and legs, eat or breathe on his own. The 10-month-old has been connected to machines to help keep him alive. British courts decided Charlie should be allowed to die after a heartbreaking legal battle in which doctors asserted that the child had no chance of survival, and Charlie’s parents argued there was an experimental treatment in the United States they had not tried.
What the courts decided? (The Sun)
On May 2, the couple took their fight to the Court of Appeal where they begged senior judges not to stop them trying to save their badly brain-damaged son. Charlie’s parents hired new lawyers for the second chance at saving their son’s life. Three Court of Appeal judges upheld the High Court ruling on May 25. After the case was taken all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, which declined to hear the case Tuesday, upholding previous court rulings that it was in Charlie’s best interest to withdraw life support.
Charlie’s mum and dad say he is a “prisoner” in hospital and Great Ormond Street’s treatment has been “inhuman”.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales issued a statement today that recognizes above all the complexity of the situation, the heartrending pain of the parents, and the efforts of so many to determine what is best for Charlie. The Bishops’ statement also reaffirms that “we should never act with the deliberate intention to end a human life, including the removal of nutrition and hydration, so that death might be achieved” but that “we do, sometimes, however, have to recognize the limitations of what can be done, while always acting humanely in the service of the sick person until the time of natural death occurs.”
After the ECHR’s decision, Gard and Yates said they had begged the hospital to be given the weekend for friends and family to see Charlie but that their plea had been rejected, as reported by The Guardian.
So now, against his parents’ wishes, terminally ill infant Charlie Gard will be allowed to die.