We have just heard from the High Court in London that Charlie Gard’s parents have ended their legal battle to have him treated in the USA. The US specialist that had offered to treat him has withdrawn support after seeing the latest MRI scan. This is the scan that lawyers for the London hospital, Great Ormond Street (GOSH) declared to make ‘sad reading’ last week. They announced this without consultation with the parents, meaning the first they heard about it was in the courtroom.
GOSH have behaved despicably, and arrogantly, throughout the entire case. The very second they realised that the tide of public opinion at home and around the world was against them, they U-turned. This has simply meant delay, without any prospect of recovery for the baby concerned. As we noted last time, this was the worst kind of cynical bum coverage. As the judge admitted, the ‘new evidence’ cited as the basis for the U-turn was not new and hardly amounted to evidence.
Worse still, GOSH’s opinion was that keeping Charlie Gard on life support was hurting him further. How cruel and unusual then, for the hospital to keep him alive a few more weeks to cover their own reputations. Well, their hard-won, well-earned and long-standing reputation is in tatters.
Long after the newspapers forget about Charlie Gard, we will all remember the harsh cynicism of one of London’s oldest hospitals. The decision by the parents today ensures that Charlie’s life support will be turned off and treatment withdrawn. He will die naturally in the course of the following hours.
Thankfully, the huge fund of over £1 million that was to be used to treat Charlie will now guarantee his name and memory live on. It will be used to fund the fight to understand more about this appalling, and mercifully super-rare, condition.