“Trump, the Pope, they all have hope” read the message printed on the back of the t-shirt of a protestor outside London’s Royal Courts of Justice on July 13. Only about a dozen demonstrators were present, but people across the world had their eyes on the outcome of the hearing taking place within the London court.
The case of Charlie Gard – a brain-damaged British infant on life support due to a rare mitochondrial disease – has pitted a children’s hospital against parents in a legal battle over what is in the best interests of the child. Charlie’s parents opposed his doctors’ preference to move the baby to a palliative care regime and take him off life support. They wanted to take the 11-month-old to America for experimental nucleoside treatment, a trip they had raised more than £1.3 million ($1.68 million) to pay for via crowdfunding sites.
The decision went to Britain’s High Court and eventually to the European Court of Human Rights. The ECHR agreed with the domestic courts’ ruling in favor of the hospital, who argued that the experimental treatment won’t end the child’s suffering, and that Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.
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