Some sad news to report: Charlie Gard, the terminally-ill baby who was the center of a controversy regarding parental rights and experimental treatment, has passed away in a hospice after his life support machine was withdrawn on Friday. He would have turned one on August 4.
BREAKING: Charlie Gard, UK baby at the center of dispute over hospital treatment, has died - Daily Mail pic.twitter.com/rgxAkFMyre— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 28, 2017
Charlie spent the majority of his life in Great Ormond Street Hospital after being diagnosed with an extraordinarily rare disease called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. This disease robbed Charlie of his ability to move and breathe, and he was dependent on a ventilator. His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, raised over a million dollars to move him to the United States for an experimental treatment, but were not permitted to do so following a ruling by a human rights course that this was not in his best interest. A fierce debate on parental rights and medical care options soon followed, with figures as diverse as Pope Francis and President Donald Trump issuing statements of support for the Gard family.
On Monday, Charlie's parents announced that they would be dropping their legal battle and would no longer pursue treatment for their son, saying that it was just too late and the damage was irreversible. In an emotional statement, Chris Gard said that while they loved their son very much, it was now time to let him go.
Charlie's parents said that they intend on starting a foundation in their son's honor to assist people in similar situations.
Rest in peace, Charlie.