by Sharon Rondeau

Diagram of how Charlie Gard’s disease was likely transferred to him by two parents who each unknowingly carried a recessive gene for it. Credit: Wikipedia

(Jul. 24, 2017) — A number of international and domestic reports stated on Monday morning that the parents of an 11-month-old British boy, Charlie Gard, have decided not to pursue treatment for their child in the United States during a court hearing the same day.

Charlie is suffering from a rare genetic disorder, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which prevents muscles from functioning properly and reportedly damages the brain.

Multiple U.S. pro-life organizations have supported Connie Yates and Chris Gard in their efforts, to this point, to seek alternative, experimental treatment available in the U.S., and specifically at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center.

One week ago, Dr. Michio Hirano flew to London and examined Charlie at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), where a brain scan was performed and Hirano consulted with Charlie’s British medical team and a doctor from the Vatican’s Jesu Bambino hospital.

The case has drawn international attention and advocacy on the part of those who believe that despite Charlie’s “terminal” diagnosis, there is a chance his life could be saved and his quality of life improved with the experimental treatment.

Charlie has been on a ventilator for a number of months, and doctors at GOSH have maintained that allowing him to die is better for him than attempting to treat him.

Last week, Yates and Gard appeared much more optimistic following Hirano’s visit, and the U.S. Congress granted the family residency so that Charlie could receive “world-class” treatment if allowed to leave GOSH, whose decisions are governed by a court order.

On Friday, Charlie’s parents were reportedly very upset when the brain scan report was shared with Justice Nicholas Francis before they themselves learned of the results.

On a GoFundMe page where more than $1.7 million was raised privately for Charlie’s care, Yates wrote that both she and Gard possess a recessive gene responsible for their son’s affliction.

On Monday, their attorney, Grant Armstrong, said in a statement that “For Charlie it is too late. The damage has been done,” according to The (UK) Independent.

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