Baby Charlie Gard dies after life support withdrawn

Charlie Gard
Charlie Gard

LONDON – The terminally-ill infant Charlie Gard died Friday after being taken off life support, British media outlets reported.

The 11-month old suffered from an extremely rare degenerative condition called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which has caused brain damage and left him unable to move his limbs.

Charlie's parents had hoped to assemble a team of doctors and nurses who could move him from London's Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), where he was being cared for, to a hospice so they could spend several days with their son before letting him die.

But they were unable to find a medical team that would be able to supervise the intensive care the baby requires.

The hospital, which had been seeking court permission to let Charlie die since February, objected that a doctor proposed by the family on Wednesday lacked the right qualifications. He was a general practitioner with no intensive care experience and was not named, by court order.

Charlie's parents requested 48 hours to search for another doctor, but the hospital objected.

It is "simply unacceptable that this drag on into a further week," Fiona Paterson, a lawyer for the hospital, told the court. "It is for no gain."