British baby Charlie Gard dies was center of legal battle

first_imgLONDON (AP) — Charlie Gard, the critically ill British baby at the center of a contentious legal battle that attracted the attention of Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump, died Friday, according to a family spokeswoman. He would have turned 1 next week.Charlie suffered from a rare genetic disease, mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which caused brain damage and left him unable to breathe unaided.His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, raised more than 1.3 million pounds ($1.7 million) to take him to the United States for an experimental medical therapy they believed could prolong his life. But Charlie’s doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London objected, saying the treatment wouldn’t help and might cause him to suffer. The dispute ended up in court.Charlie’s case became a flashpoint for debates on the rights of both children and parents, on health-care funding, medical interventions, the responsibilities of hospitals and medical workers and the role of the state.Alison Smith-Squire, a family spokeswoman, confirmed to The Associated Press that Charlie died Friday but no further details were released. In a statement, Yates was quoted as saying “our beautiful little boy has gone, we’re so proud of him.”After months of legal battles, High Court Judge Nicholas Francis ruled Thursday that Charlie should be transferred to a hospice and taken off life support after his parents and the hospital that had been treating him failed to agree on an end-of-life care plan for the infant.last_img

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