Judge rules doctors can withdraw baby Charlie Gard's life support

Gemma Strong

A High Court judge has ruled that doctors can withdraw life support from baby Charlie Gard, against his parents' wishes. The eight-month-old, who was born on 4 August, suffers from a form of mitochondrial disease, a rare genetic condition which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. Specialists at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital had advised it was in Charlie's best interests to stop providing life support and instead move him to a palliative care regime, but his parents disagreed.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates wanted to be allowed to take their son to a hospital in the US for a ground-breaking trial. They raised £1.2million to cover his treatment, with over 80,000 people donating to the campaign, including celebrities Samantha Faiers, Tamara Ecclestone and Rebekah Vardy. There were shouts of 'No' heard around the court as the decision was announced by Mr Justice Frances, who had visited Charlie in hospital. He said he had made the decision with the "heaviest of hearts" but with "complete conviction" for the baby's best interest.

Connie had previously spoken about her legal fight to keep her son alive. "I can't put into words how horrible it is to see court papers with our baby's name on them," she wrote on her Facebook page. "Our son is being summoned to death. We love our child with every ounce of our being and we want what's best for him. We have his best interests in mind... give him medications and make him better - isn't that what any parent would do? Find me one that wouldn't."

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