The parents of baby Charlie Gard have received critical backing for a law pushing for parental rights of sick children. Charlie’s Law was inspired by the tragic ordeal parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard went through in 2017 when courts ordered the couple to bypass possibly life-saving experimental treatment for their infant son, instead being forced to watch baby Charlie die in a London hospital.
“If the proposal is backed by Parliament, the parents of sick children who disagree with doctors on life-and-death decisions will have more rights over treatment,” reported The Daily Mail on Thursday. The law would reportedly have a “significant harm” test, meaning parents would have the right to seek treatment for their sick child at other hospitals as long as it wouldn’t cause the child “significant harm.”
“Charlie’s tragic death on 28th July 2017 exposed the limitations of current processes available to parents, doctors and the NHS in efforts to ensure the best outcomes for seriously ill children,” outlines the Charlie Gard Foundation, which was set up by Gard and Yates in the wake of Charlie’s death. “Charlie’s fight highlighted an urgent need for changes in the law, policy and legal and health practice to support families, as well as medical and legal professionals involved in what are deeply emotive, difficult and life-changing circumstances.”
Charlie’s Law has received backing from “prominent peers, doctors and lawyers,” The Daily Mail reported. “This has my full support and that of many colleagues from all sides of the House,” former president of the British Medical Association Baroness Hollins said, per Gard.
As previously covered by The Daily Wire, baby Charlie suffered from a rare condition known as encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. Though Gard and Yates raised a stunning $1.6 million on their own to pursue experimental but potentially life-saving treatment in the United States, court rulings decided it was in the baby's best interest to remain at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London to die.
The clear government overreach surrounding Charlie's case sparked reactions across the globe, including President Donald Trump and Pope Francis offering support for the Gard family.
"Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie,” the couple announced in a heart-wrenching social media post on July 28, 2017. Charlie was just a week shy of his first birthday.
“I have been contacted by dozens of parents who cannot agree with doctors over the treatment for their sick children. They quickly find themselves locked in painful disputes, some of which end up in court,” Yates said, according to The Daily Mail. “Charlie’s Law would put a stop to this. These situations are bad for doctors, bad for parents and bad for the reputation of the NHS.”
Gard added, “In Charlie’s final hours, I made some promises to him, ones I will never break, and among them was that we would go on fighting in Charlie’s name to help other children. This would be Charlie’s legacy and I wanted him to know it.”