Last week, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Charlie Gard's parents would not be permitted to take their son to the United States for an experimental treatment. Charlie has a rare mitochondrial disease, and as a result of his illness he has suffered extensive brain damage and cannot breathe on his own. The court decided that transporting him to the United States would not be beneficial to Charlie, and ordered that his life support be disconnected.
There was an international outcry at this decision, with figures such as Pope Francis and President Donald Trump offering to assist Charlie in any way. The Vatican-sponsored children's hospital, Bambino Gesù, even extended an invitation to take in Charlie to care for him for the remainder of his life.
But that apparently won't be happening, as Great Ormond Street Hospital in the U.K., where Charlie has spent the majority of his short life, is refusing to let him leave. Charlie's mother, Connie Yates, said that there were "legal reasons" as to why the hospital would not allow the transfer.
“The hospital told us that, for legal reasons, the baby can’t be transferred to us. That’s one more sad note,” Enoc said. “We listened to what the mother asked us with great attention, and she’s determined to fight to the end. I don’t know if it will be possible to find a means of care,” she said, but “our scientists are exploring the issue and will speak directly to the family.”
Bambino Gesù, she said, “will continue to respond to the accompaniment of the baby and the parents regarding the decision to pull or not pull the plug, eventually also explaining the situation.
“In life, there are gray zones,” Enoc said. “In this case, it’s very difficult to say if this is suffering by therapy or not. In this gray zone, I stand by the judgment and do the only thing I can, which is to say, we’ll welcome the family and accompany them as the pope asked.”
Charlie's life support was scheduled to be removed last Friday, but doctors have given him an extension. Charlie's parents say that they are also not being allowed to take their child home to pass away with them, which has been their desire since his diagnosis.