UK doctors must treat sick baby Charlie until next week, European judges rule

UK doctors must treat sick baby Charlie until next week, European judges rule

Doctors in London must continue to treat a terminally-ill baby at the centre of a life-support legal battle until midnight on Tuesday, judges in the European Court of Human Rights have said.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates want to take their 10-month-old son, Charlie Gard, to the United States for treatment.

UK doctors must treat sick baby Charlie until next week, European judges rule

They have exhausted legal options in the UK and hope that European judges will now come to their aid.

A spokeswoman for the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, said judges wanted treatment to continue while they looked at paperwork in the case.

Charlie suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage.

His parents want him to undergo a therapy trial in America.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, say therapy proposed by a doctor in America is experimental and will not help.

They say life support treatment should stop.

A High Court judge in April ruled against a trip to America and in favour of Great Ormond Street doctors.

Mr Justice Francis concluded that life support treatment should end and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Three Court of Appeal judges upheld that ruling in May and three Supreme Court justices on Thursday dismissed the couple's latest challenge after a hearing in London.

Ms Yates screamed as Supreme Court justices announced their decision.

The ECHR spokeswoman said: "Today, the European Court of Human Rights decided to indicate to the United Kingdom Government that, in the interests of the parties and the proper conduct of the proceedings before it, they should provide Charlie Gard with such treatment and nursing care as may be appropriate to ensure that he suffers the least distress and retains the greatest dignity consistent, insofar as possible, with maintaining life, until midnight on Tuesday 13 June.

"The interim measure granted ... has been applied temporarily in order to allow the European Court to examine the request."

She said Charlie's parents wanted a panel of seven judges to analyse the case in detail.

Mr Justice Francis had made a ruling on April 11 after a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

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

Specialists in the US have offered a therapy called nucleoside.

Charlie's parents, who are aged in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, have appealed for money on a GoFundMe page to cover doctors' bills in America.

They reached a £1.2m target before the High Court trial.

People are continuing to donate and the fund has now topped £1.3m.

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".

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