On Monday the Vatican and the White House offered support to the family of a terminally ill British baby whom the European courts ruled could be taken off life support against the will of his parents.
Charlie Gard suffers from a rare mitochondrial disorder, known as MDDS, that leaves him unable to hear and see or to move or breathe unaided, according to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he is being treated. The condition is currently incurable.
A series of British court rulings have found that continuing Charlie’s treatment could cause “significant harm.” And on Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the hospital can take him off life support, in accordance with Charlie’s doctors’ wishes.
His parents, however, have raised nearly $2 million to bring Charlie to an American hospital to undergo experimental treatment. As is written on their GoFundMe page,
“we found hope in a medication that may help him and a Dr in America has accepted him in his hospital. It hasn’t been tried on anyone with his gene before (he’s only number 16 in the world ever reported) but it’s had success with another mitochondrial depletion syndrome called TK2 which is similar – it’s helping children to get their strength back and live longer!”
And while the American doctor has agreed to treat Charlie if he can make it to the United States, he also told a British court that “it is very unlikely that he will improve with that therapy.”
On Monday President Trump tweeted, “If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.”
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SOURCE: NPR, Amy Held