UK Judge to Charlie Gard’s Parents: You Have 48 Hours to Prove Your Son Should Be Kept Alive
A UK judge told the parents of Charlie Gard, a terminally ill baby, that they only have until Wednesday afternoon to turn in “new” and “powerful” evidence demonstrating their son should be kept alive and receive an experimental treatment.
Judge Nicholas Francis announced the set deadline just before the second hearing, which is planned for Thursday afternoon in London following an extremely trying day during one of the most talked about cases around the world.
Just last week, President Trump stated that if the U.S. were able to help, “we would be delighted to do so.”
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017
According to The Sun, Judge Francis stated:
Mr Justice Francis said the parents have 48 hours to provide evidence proving otherwise and will hear their case on Thursday.
“There is not a person alive who would not want to save Charlie . . . If there is new evidence, I will hear it. If you bring new evidence to me and I consider that evidence changes the situation . . . I will be the first to welcome that outcome.”
11-month-old Charlie Gard suffers from a very rare mitochondrial disease and is suffering from brain damage. Charlie’s parents want to take the child to the U.S. or Italy wherein he can receive nucleoside therapy, a treatment process known for successfully reducing “symptoms of some types of mitochondrial disease.”
Standing in the way is London’s Great Ormond Hospital and an independent guardian appointed to represent Charlie, who have argued that the infant’s life support system should be switched off and he should be allowed to die with dignity.
Parents in Britain do not have the absolute right to make decisions for their children. It is normal for courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree on the treatment of a child. The rights of the child take primacy, with the courts weighing issues such as whether a child is suffering and how much benefit a proposed treatment might produce.