Charlie Gard's parents make difficult decision to take son off life suport

Reporting by Benjamin Hall

The parents of 11-month-old Charlie Gard announced today they would let their son go and “be with the angels.”

Charlie’s father called the decision the hardest one they’ve ever had to make after what would be their final appearance in a British courtroom.

“As Charlie’s devoted and living parents we have decided that it’s no longer in Charlie’s best interests to pursue treatment.”

The news came as a surprise to many supporters who had gathered outside, but additional scans which took place last week showed that damage to Charlie’s muscles and tissues was now irreversible, and crucially he also had irreversible brain damage.

Despite the prognosis, Dr. Michio Hirano, the U.S. specialist who came to examine Charlie last week, was still willing to treat him-though with less hope of success.

Charlie’s parents claim there’s only one reason his muscles had deteriorated to this extent—time wasting. Charlie was born with mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease, and has been fighting for months.

Tragically, having had Charlie’s medical notes reviewed by independent experts we know had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy,’ Charlie’s father told reporters.

Charlie Gard will now be taken off life support and is expected to pass away soon after that.

There still remain huge ethical, moral, medical and legal issues in this case, not lease who has the right to choose a child’s care—the parents or the state. Now the big debate will be whether the legal wrangling cost precious time as they Charlie’s parents had been asking for treatment since November.