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LONDON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Charlie Gard has passed away one week before his first birthday and three days after the child's baptism. This after a U.K. judge ruled Charlie would not be allowed to die at home as requested by his parents.
Church Militant recently reported the end of the legal battle over Charlie's life after an American doctor went to the U.K. and said it was too late for Charlie to benefit from the experimental treatment Charlie's parents wanted for their son in the first place. On July 19, Church Militant reported that Charlie had been given U.S. legal residence in an effort to give the family access to the therapy in the United States.
Charlie, who suffered from an extremely rare genetic disease, was taken to the hospital at eight weeks old. Charlie was the 16th reported case of the disease worldwide. His parents wanted to bring their son to the United States to receive an experimental treatment taken as an oral medication.
Great Ormond Street Hospital took the parents to court over the hospital's desire to withdraw Charlie's life support. The hospital argued that the therapy in the United States would not help. They also said that the treatment "would take time," according to Katie Gollop who was speaking on behalf of the hospital. She said that "over the weeks and months, Charlie would be forced to remain in his perilous condition — he can't see, can't hear, can't cry, can't swallow. He has a mechanism that causes his lungs to go up and down. We don't know whether he suffers pain."
In April, a High Court judge, Mr. Justice Francis, ruled against the parents, saying that Charlie's artificial ventilation should be withdrawn and Charlie be allowed to "die with dignity." The ruling was appealed, and in May the U.K. Supreme Court upheld the lower court's decision.
On June 27, the European Court upheld the ruling of the U.K. courts, ordering that Charlie's life support be removed.
Both Pope Francis and President Donald Trump raised their voices on behalf of Charlie and his parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard. Pope Francis reversed a statement put out by the Vatican's Abp. Vincenzo Paglia of the Pontifical Academy for Life. The Holy Father's statement said he was "following with affection and sadness the case of little Charlie Gard and expresses his closeness to his parents. For this, he prays that their wish to accompany and treat their child until the end is not neglected."
In response to Pope Francis' statement, Mariella Enoc, president of the Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital in Rome, requested that Gard be transferred to their facility.
Church Militant contributor Timothy Gordon said the following in a commentary piece published on July 20:
Young Charlie Gard's government-appointed attorney, it turns out, is a Laker dressed in a Celtic uniform. She is the chairman of Compassion in Dying, a euthanasia advocacy group with a sister organization that supports assisted suicide. As such, neither side in the case actually represents Gard's mother's and father's parental rights. ... Charlie Gard's parents also can't remove him from the hospital room. They have only limited visiting hours. He's effectually being held captive, under a despotic European healthcare-as-statecraft system, witlessly determined to see the child die.