Ten-month-old Charlie Gard, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and brain damage, has won a few more days of life.
Doctors were set to end his life support on Friday – Charlie cannot breath on his own – but they issued a last-minute reprieve. On Tuesday, The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London received permission from a court to terminate life support, but said in a statement at week’s end that “together with Charlie’s parents we are putting plans in place for his care and to give them more time together as a family.”
Meanwhile, the dramatic story turned another twist as Pope Francis weighed in on the debate, saying it is “never” right to deliberately end a human life.
Charlie, born in August, suffers from infantile-onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. “His brain, muscle and ability to breathe are all severely affected. In addition, he has congenital deafness and a severe epilepsy disorder,” a professor who specializes in mitochondrial diseases told the U.K. High Court that heard the case, Fox News reported.
Last Tuesday, Charlie’s parents lost their bid to take their son to America for treatment as the European Court of Human Rights ruled that doing so would cause “significant harm.” The court said life support should be terminated – and even refused the parents’ request to let Charlie come home, where he could spend his last days surrounded by family.
The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, released a statement Thursday regarding the European Court of Human Rights:
“The matter of the English baby Charlie Gard and his parents has meant both pain and hope for all of us. We feel close to him, to his mother, his father, and all those who have cared for him and struggled together with him until now. For them, and for those who are called to decide their future, we raise to the Lord of Life our prayers, knowing that “in the Lord our labor will not be in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:58)
As The Daily Wire reported, “The language used in the statement is deeply chilling. The way Paglia describes the situation, one might think the decision to end Charlie Gard’s life was an unfortunate, but ultimately unanimous one. This couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, said in a video for The Daily Mail that “heartless” doctors refuse to let their son go home.
Said his mother: “We promised our little boy every single day that we would take him home.”
“We want to give him a bath at home, put him in a cot which he has never slept in, but we are now being denied that,” Charlie’s father said. “We know what day our son is going to die but don’t get a say in how that will happen.”
“He’s a little fighter… but we’re not allowed to fight for him anymore,” he said. “Our parental rights have been stripped away. We can’t even take our own son home to die. We’ve been denied that,” Gard said in tears.
“Can we take our little boy home to where he belongs to die?”