The High Court judge who ruled that Charlie Gard should be taken off life support has explained why the baby boy should be allowed to "die with dignity". Mr Justice Francis published his 11,000-word ruling on the case, giving members of the public the chance to read and analyse his reasoning in detail. The document can be found on the British and Irish Legal Information Institute website.
Last month, Mr Justice Francis ruled that doctors can withdraw life support from baby Charlie, against the wishes of his parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates. The nine-month-old 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 and Connie were hoping to take their little boy to the US for a treatment trial. They found a doctor who is willing to take on their case, but their plans were scuppered following the High Court judge's ruling. Chris and Connie, who have raised more than £1.3million for their son, are planning to apply to the Appeal Court to re-examine the decision.
Last month, the couple made an emotional appearance on This Morning, where they spoke to Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes about their baby's condition. Charlie is thought to be the 16th person in the world diagnosed with this form of mitochondrial disease.
"We were told that we could go and he hasn't deteriorated in that time so it is very, very hard for us to get our head around," said Connie. "It seems like they're making him out to be a lot worse than he actually is. We sit with him day in day out, we know he's not in pain and he's not suffering. He just needs the treatment that's going to potentially help him. There's no guarantee it would work but theoretically it should help."