Judge publishes ruling in baby Charlie Gard treatment case

Judge publishes ruling in baby Charlie Gard treatment case

A High Court judge who decided that a baby at the centre of a life-support treatment fight should be allowed to "die with dignity" has published his ruling on the case.

Mr Justice Francis has given members of the public the chance to analyse his reasoning in detail as Charlie Gard's parents prepare to challenge his decision in the Court of Appeal.

The judge's 11,809-word ruling, made last month following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, was posted on the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (Bailii) website on Wednesday.

Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, wanted to be allowed to take their son to America for a treatment trial.

Mr Justice Francis ruled against them.

The couple hope that Court of Appeal judges will overturn his decision in the near future.

Mr Justice Francis decided that doctors could stop providing life-support treatment for Charlie on April 11.

Charlie's parents, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, had wanted a specialist in America to provide therapy.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where nine-month-old Charlie is being cared for, disagreed and said life-support treatment should stop.

Mr Justice Francis ruled in Great Ormond Street's favour and concluded that Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should move to a palliative care regime.

Judge publishes ruling in baby Charlie Gard treatment case

He heard that Charlie, who was born on August 4, had a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

Specialists in the US had offered a therapy called nucleoside, but the judge said experts agreed that the treatment could not reverse Charlie's structural brain damage.

Charlie's parents had appealed for money on a GoFundMe website to cover doctors' bills in the US, and reached their £1.2 million target shortly before the High Court trial.

People have continued to give money despite Mr Justice Francis's decision and the fund has topped £1.3 million.

Mr Justice Francis said Great Ormond Street doctors had considered the experimental treatment but decided it would not help Charlie.

He said the case had never been ''about money''.

PA

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