Charlie Gard, the little bundle of joy, could not take this anymore. The boy with a rare illness touched the hearts of people all over the world.
What was the Disease Impacting Charlie Gard?
Charlie Gard had mitochondrial depletion syndrome. This order relates to a group of different disorders. The disease mainly impacts the mitochondrial DNA. The mitochondrial DNA is located within our body cells and is responsible for creating energy.
These disorders do not impact all people in the same way. The effects of mitochondrial DNA syndrome affect various individuals differently. Some of the typical symptoms of mitochondrial depletion syndrome can include developmental delays, strokes, seizures, and inability to digest food among others. The involvement of three or more organs points to mitochondrial depletion syndrome.
The disease mostly impacts small age children. However, many adults are also getting affected by it.
A Bit About Charlie Gard
Charlie Gard is a ten months old baby who just lost his life due to a rare disease, complexed by a legal battle. He was admitted to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The boy was born as a normal healthy infant on 4th August 2016. He had healthy weight the time of his birth. However, at one-month-old, his parents Connie Yates and Chris noticed his inability to lift his head. He could not offer any support to himself like the infants of his age.
The doctors diagnosed the lovely child with the mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. The disease, besides impacting body organs, also results in weakening muscles and damaging the brain. His parents admitted him to the hospital because he had increasingly become less and less active.
Why Legal Battle Over a Sick Infant?
The case of Charlie Gard came to public light because of an ensuing legal battle. His parents wanted to take him to the US for treatment. They wanted to try an experimental treatment in the hope that he might survive the disease. The parents of Charlie Gard also setup a crowd funding page to gather funds.
However, the doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital did not agree with the treatment. They were of the view that the treatment was not designed to cure the patient. Therefore, they thought that it would not improve his quality of life.
In this case, there was an apparent disagreement between the parents of the child and the hospital. Therefore, the court had to intervene to decide the fate of the child.
Timeline of the Legal Battle
Here are the Charlie Gard legal battle stages.
The management of the hospital asked Mr. Justice Francis to order stopping the life support treatment.
Mr. Justice Francis said that the doctors could stop offering life support. However, the court of the Family Division of the High Court in London had to analyze it. The court concluded that doctors could stop giving life support.
The parents of the child appealed, asking for court’s reconsideration.
The court analyzed the case to dismiss the parent’s appeal later.
Charlie Gard’s parents went to the Supreme Court to continue life support. However, they could not win their case in the highest court of the country.
The judges in EU’s human rights court started analyzing the case. The process was initiated by the lawyers representing the child’s case with a written application. The court at the time had said that due to urgent nature of the case it would prioritize its hearing.
The EU human rights court judges refused to become part of the case. After this refusal, the hospital said they were not in a hurry to end life support. Instead, the spokeswoman said the hospital would take careful planning & discussion.
The parents of the child reappeared before the high court requesting a review. The Judge gave the parents less than 48 hours to prove if the treatment would work.
The parents of the child formally withdrew the application from the court.
Legal experts believe the lawyers representing the child’s parents for free, did not emphasize enough on Charlie Gard’s basis human rights. Later, the parents of the child also agreed that the experimental therapy could not be of any help.