Fight for Parental Rights as Parents of Charlie Gard Attend Court Hearing

Charlie Gard

LONDON (AP) — The parents of a baby with a rare disease returned to a court in London on Thursday, hoping for a fresh analysis of their wish to take the critically ill child to the United States for medical treatment.

Charlie Gard’s parents disagree with Britain’s most famous children’s hospital on how best to care for the 11-month-old with a rare genetic condition.

Great Ormond Street Hospital argues experimental treatment in America won’t help and may cause the child to suffer. The hospital believes his life support systems should be turned off.

The parents want to try — but it isn’t up to them.

Parents in Britain do not have the absolute right to make decisions for their children and it is normal for courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree on the treatment of people unable to speak for themselves. The rights of the child take primacy, with the courts weighing issues such as whether a child is suffering and how much benefit a proposed treatment might produce.

“We are continuing to spend every moment, working around the clock to save our dear baby Charlie,” the parents said in a statement before the hearing. “We’ve been requesting this specialised treatment since November, and never asked the hospital, courts or anyone for anything – except for the permission to go.”

Judge Nicholas Francis, who ruled in favour of doctors in April, says he will consider any new evidence Thursday.


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