The parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard are ‘utterly distraught’ and facing fresh heartbreak after losing their final appeal in the European Court of Human Rights.
Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31, wanted to take their 10-month-old son – who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage – to the US to undergo a therapy trial.
Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, where Charlie is being cared for, said they wanted him to be able to ‘die with dignity’.
But the couple, from Bedfont, west London, raised almost £1.4million so they could take their son to America but a series of courts ruled in favour of the British doctors.
It comes after specialists at Great Ormond Street said therapy in the US is experimental and will not help and added that life support should stop.
And after losing legal battles in the UK, Charlie’s parents were hoping judges in Strasbourg, France, would come to their aid.
But on Tuesday afternoon, the ECHR rejected a last-ditch plea and their ‘final’ decision means the baby’s life support machine will be switched off.
The ECHR announced the application to the court by the parents was ‘inadmissible’ and added that their decision was ‘final’.
Mr Gard and Miss Yates have yet to comment on today’s decision, however their Twitter account ‘Charlie’s fight’, retweeted a number of messages.
One said: ‘The #CharlieGard case is terrible. Shame on the UK judges allowing him to die, shameful, terrible decision.’
Another message the account retweeted read: ‘Very evil people….. Sentencing a child to death! What an anti-child pagan society we are. I pray for #CharlieGard!’
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children today said their thoughts are with Charlie’s parents and said the decision ‘marks the end of a difficult process’.
Their statement read: ‘Our thoughts are with Charlie’s parents on receipt of this news that we know will be very distressing for them.
‘Today’s decision by the European Court of Human Rights marks the end of what has been a very difficult process and our priority is to provide every possible support to Charlie’s parents as we prepare for the next steps.
‘There will be no rush by Great Ormond Street Hospital to change Charlie’s care and any future treatment plans will involve careful planning and discussion.’
A statement from the ECHR said: ‘Today the European Court of Human Rights has by a majority endorsed in substance the approach by the domestic courts and thus declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final.
‘The case concerned Charlie Gard, a baby suffering from a rare and fatal genetic disease.
‘In February 2017, the treating hospital sought a declaration from the domestic courts as to whether it would be lawful to withdraw artificial ventilation and provide Charlie with palliative care.