“It’s too late for Charlie”

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The parents of the baby Charlie Gard have given up their legal battle to send their terminally-ill child to the United States for treatment.

The American doctor who came to London to examine the child concluded that the experimental treatment he was offering would not be helpful after all.

The question of who gets to decide on treatment for a child–parents or doctors?–was not definitively answered, at least in terms of British law.

From Merrit Kennedy, Parents Of Terminally Ill British Baby Charlie Gard End Legal Fight : The Two-Way : NPR:

The parents of terminally ill British baby Charlie Gard have ended their legal fight to transport him to the U.S. for experimental treatment, concluding a months-long saga that has raised nearly $1.75 million and elicited support from Pope Francis and President Trump.

The couple’s lawyer, Grant Armstrong, told the London High Court that new medical tests have shown that the experimental treatment would not help at this point, according to The Associated Press. “It’s too late for Charlie,” Armstrong said. “The damage has been done.”

Charlie suffers from a rare inherited mitochondrial disease called MDDS, for which there is no known cure, according to the Great Ormond Street Hospital which is treating him. The hospital adds that the infant has “severe progressive muscle weakness and cannot move his arms or legs or breathe unaided.”

According to the BBC, Armstrong told the judge “that US neurologist Dr. Michio Hirano had said he was no longer willing to offer the baby experimental therapy after he saw the results of a new MRI scan last week.”

NPR’s Joanna Kakissis reported that the case is focused on this question: “Should parents be the ones who have the final say in treating critically ill children? Or should doctors?”

[Keep reading. . .]

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