Charlie Gard, British Baby at Heart of Legal Battle, Dies

(CN) – Charlie Gard, the British baby who became the subject of a bitter dispute between his parents and doctors over whether he should be taken to the United States for an experimental treatment for an extremely rare genetic condition, has died.

“Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie,” Connie Yates, the baby’s mother, said in a statement provided to Britain’s Daily Mail.

The 11-month-old baby suffered from a condition that causes progressive brain damage and muscle weakness.

His parents, Yates and Chris Gard, wanted their son to undergo a treatment that has never been tried on anyone with his condition before.

But Charlie Gard’s doctors objected, saying the treatment would only prolong his suffering.

The case drew comment from U.S. President Donald Trump, who tweeted on July 3 that “we would be delighted” to help the child, and from Pope Francis, who said the boy’s parents should be allowed to do everything possible to treat him.

However, earlier this week lawyers for the family of the 11-month-old infant and the hospital treating him appeared in Britain’s High Court, a day after Charlie’s parents said they were dropping their long legal battle to get him experimental treatment.

The family attorney, Grant Armstrong, told a judge that Gard and Yates had held discussions with Great Ormond Street Hospital about sending Charlie home. The hospital had suggested a hospice option instead.

The court ultimately decided in favor of hospice care.

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