.- A final appeal to allow continued life support for a U.K. baby whose parents want to seek experimental treatment in the U.S. has been rejected by the European Court of Human Rights.
According to the BBC, the European Court judges agreed on the decision to withdraw life support, stating that the experimental treatment would only expose the baby, Charlie Gard, to “continued pain, suffering and distress,” while adding “no prospects of success.”
A legal battle has been ongoing since early March, after Charlie was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome – an extremely rare disease which progressively weakens muscles and causes brain damage.
Specialists in the U.S. offered Charlie nucleoside therapy, an experimental treatment, which his parents were hoping would be a second chance for their son, and asked the court to keep him on life support.
Charlie’s parents – Chris Gard and Connie Yates – had raised nearly $1.6 million on GoFundMe, an online fundraising site, to cover the experimental treatment in the U.S.
The nearly 11-month-old baby is thought to be one of only 16 people in the world who suffer from Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome. He has thus far suffered severe brain damage and is only able to survive by a feeding tube and an artificial ventilator.
Charlie’s life support machine is expected to be turned off within the next few days. His parents have said that the money they raised will be donated to a charity to help other children with their son’s condition.
Read more at Catholic News Agency.
Further reading: The Court-Ordered Killing of Charlie Gard