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11 April 2017

8 month old Charlie Gard will not be permitted to travel to America to receive pioneering treatment, High Court rules

2 mins

Mr Justice Francis has today allowed Great Ormond Street Hospital’s application.  This will have the effect of preventing Charlie Gard’s parents from taking him to America to receive the therapy sought. 

Charlie’s parents, Connie and Chris, are devastated by today’s decision. They are struggling to come to terms with the court’s refusal to allow the treatment to be given to Charlie, and wondering why this door has been closed to him. They want to look carefully at the reasons behind the court’s decision, and are considering what they can do now. Whatever happens, their concern remains the best interests of their son. 

Laura Hobey-Hamsher of Bindmans LLP said:

Connie and Chris are facing every parent’s worst nightmare. They are struggling to understand why the court has not at least given Charlie the chance of treatment in America. The medical evidence is complex, and the treatment offered, potentially ground-breaking. These are not easy issues, and they remain utterly committed, like any parent, to wanting to do their utmost for their child. Their total dedication and devotion to Charlie has been recognised by all parties concerned, including the judge. That is right: nothing less could be said of them.

This court has had to face one of the most fundamental issues for any court. It has not been easy. Lessons do however need to be learned about how medical professionals face decisions such as this, how they act with sufficient speed, and how they communicate with the families of desperately ill children, such as Charlie. It is regrettable and inexplicable that much of the reasoning for their decisions only came to light after proceedings had been issued.  It is too simplistic to say that had matters been handled better, Charlie would be well, but undoubtedly, it did not assist.

Laura Hobey-Hamsher added:

Connie and Chris want me to make clear how profoundly grateful they are for all of the help and generosity they have received throughout this time. This has been a difficult and painful case, and the support and phenomenal kindness of countless people – including the media and the public – has been a source of strength. They want me to pass on their thanks, and have asked that they now be allowed some time to consider what they need to do next.  Their immediate priority is returning to, and spending time with, Charlie.

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