LIFE BITE: Baby Charlie Gard’s parents lose Supreme Court appeal for US medical treatment

apple-150579_1280The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal made by the parents of sick baby Charlie Gard, over plans to take him to the US for experimental medical treatment.

Charlie suffers from a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome. His parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates, both from London, want to take their 10-month-old son to the US to undergo a therapy trial there.

Earlier this year, both the High Court and Court of Appeal ruled in favour of medical staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, who said it was kinder for brain damaged Charlie to be given end-of-life care and that he should not be taken to the US for experimental treatment, despite his parents’ wishes.

On 8th June 2017, the Supreme Court has also dismissed the couple’s latest challenge for their son to receive US medical treatment. Charlie’s parents have now made an emergency appeal to the European Court.

This case highlights the difficulties faced when parents and doctors are at loggerheads as to the best way to medically treat a minor child.  It raises the question –Who should have the ultimate say when it comes to deciding what is best for a child in terms of medical care?

If you are interested in where the law stands on this topic in Northern Ireland please click onto our blog post Medical Treatment and Your Children

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