Parents' final wish to take Charlie home

Joy Montgomery
July 28, 2017

During Tuesday morning's news shows, the three broadcast networks devoted more time to covering the death of a three-month-old killer whale than to the heart-rending case of 11-month-old Charlie Gard and his battle to live. Officials explained they were anxious about his safety.

After Tuesday's hearing, the High Court would decide whether Charlie would be sent home with his parents.

"When he says false hope, of course the parents are going to hold onto any kind of hope like that", said ABC anchor Robin Roberts.

Charlie was born on August 4 past year with a rare form of mitochondrial disease that causes progressive muscle weakness in the heart and other key organs and is only able to survive with life support.

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During the gruelling legal battle, Charlie's parents had lost cases in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

British courts and the global European Court of Human Rights had come down against the attempt to get the baby help. After exhausting treatment options in London, a judge ruled that taking Charlie to the US for an untested experimental treatment would do more harm than good. The team therefore concluded, following consultation with external experts, that continuing artificial ventilation was no longer in Charlie's best interests and proposed to withdraw ventilation and provide palliative care. Charlie had not been treated, allowing 'his illness to deteriorate, sadly, to the point of no return, ' as Connie told Justice Francis.

For Harnwell, Charlie Gard's case is a ideal illustration of the risks involved in allowing third parties "to assume the role of providing our own safety net". "The key obstacle and one which the hospital can not see a way around is the reality of invasive ventilation that Charlie requires".

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The family and friends of Dunn have set up a GoFund Me page to ask for help in funding his funeral. When Dunn finally disappeared under water, one of the teens said flatly, " Oh, he just died ".

But she said the couple's needs must be balanced against Charlie's best interests.

Speaking in court on Monday, Yates said making the decision to "let him go" was the hardest thing she and her partner had done in their lives, and that they still believed his condition could have improved with treatment had it been administered earlier.

They accept that the youngster - who has brain damage and a rare genetic condition - will be allowed to die before his first birthday next week.

The hospital's lawyers said bosses wanted to fulfil Charlie's parents" "last desire', but they indicated that providing intensive care to Charlie outside a hospital setting was not simple.

He said the couple felt there was a "brutality" in taking Charlie to a hospice. He is in worse shape now than he was four months ago.

Grant Armstrong, who led Charlie's parents' legal team, said the couple wanted to privately fund care at a hospice where Charlie could continue to receive life-support treatment for days before being allowed to die.

It remained unclear exactly when Charlie's life support would be removed.

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