Parents of critically ill infant Charlie Gard won't seek treatment in US

Charlie Gard in Great Ormond Street Hospital

On Friday, a barrister representing Great Ormond Street Hospital doctors caring for the 11-month-old boy told Mr Gard and Ms Yates that a report on the latest scan made for "sad reading".

Jonathan Montgomery, professor of healthcare law at University College London, was speaking to Jon Holmes after Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, gave up their five-month legal fight earlier today (July 24).

Mum Connie Yates announced the family's decision to give up the case at the High Court because it was "too late".

But the European Court of Human Rights had in June backed the view of doctors from Great Ormond Street, London, the hospital where Charlie was being treated, that further treatment would "continue to cause Charlie significant harm", without a serious prospect of recovery.

Mr Armstrong told the court that the damage to Charlie's muscle and tissue had become irreversible, adding: "The parents' worst fears have been confirmed".

Legal aid reforms can not have been meant to leave parents struggling to access legal representation in cases similar to that of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard, the judge ruling in the case said today in an unusually outspoken intervention.

The hospital treating Charlie Gard in London said that it has been receiving death threats, and staff members are being subjected to abuse due to the highly controversial case.

Last week the American specialist, Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Centre in NY, travelled to London to examine Charlie for the first time and discuss the case with Great Ormond Street doctors.

They defended their decision to fight for treatment, and said their case had been based on the expert opinions of world-renowned specialists in mitochondrial disease.

"These parents should know that no parent could have done more than they did for their child", said Justice Nicholas Francis, who is presiding over the case.

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Lawyer Grant Armstrong says Chris Gard and Connie Yates are withdrawing their appeal to court orders saying Charlie's treatment should end.

"No parents could have done more for their child", he said.

The father of critically ill child Charlie Gard says the infant will not make his first birthday in less than two weeks.

The case won worldwide attention after Charlie's parents received support from Pope Francis, U.S. President Donald Trump, and a slew of religious leaders and congressmen.

The "Charlie's Fight" campaign has seen support from across the globe, with interventions from Pope Francis and President Trump, who each demanded he was treated in NY.

"Despite conflicting issues, we have always had the utmost respect for all the staff who work tirelessly at Great Ormond Street hospital and the very hard jobs they do every day".

A judge had been expected to rule this week on whether the family could pursue the US treatment against the advice of British doctors who believe it would cause the child more suffering. The parents believe if they could have taken Charlie to America in January, he would have had a real chance of getting better.

Outside the courtroom, supporters held blue balloons in solidarity with the parents, who intend to "establish a foundation for Charlie's voice to be heard", Armstrong said.

Dad Chris spoke to reporters in an emotional statement outside the court.

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