Charlie Gard's parents give up legal fight to keep baby alive

By Harry Marcolis | Oct 10, 2017
In an emotional appearance before the British High Court, the parents of Charlie Gard told a judge they had decided to stop efforts to prolong the life of their terminally ill baby.

The child's mother, Connie Yates said she and her husband, Chris Gard, had "decided to let our son go" in light of the overwhelming consensus of medical experts who said there was no change that additional therapy could save him or improve the quality of his life, a report by The New York Times said.

Yates said she and her husband "only wanted to give him a chance of life."

Because of a rare genetic abnormality known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, Charlie is unable to hear, see, cry, or swallow.

Charlie's case reached the High Court after Great Ormond Street Hospital where he is being treated won a series of court rulings allowing his life support to be withdrawn. The hospital argued that letting nature take its course was the only humane thing to do.

Dr. Michio Hirano, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center, recently traveled to London to assess Charlie for an experimental treatment known as nucleoside bypass therapy but tests showed the therapy would be futile and serve only to prolong the child's suffering.

"We will have to live with what-ifs which will haunt us for the rest of our lives," Yates told the judge, breaking into sobs. "We have not kept him alive out of selfishness."

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