Thursday 27 July 2017

'One small chance to live a life' - but at what painful price?

Charlie Gard's parents are fighting to keep their son alive, but Sarah Carey wonders if accepting loss is the braver option

'The case ended up in court where the claims of the American doctor were characterised variously as 'pioneering', which sounds optimistic, and 'experimental', which does not' (stock photo)
'The case ended up in court where the claims of the American doctor were characterised variously as 'pioneering', which sounds optimistic, and 'experimental', which does not' (stock photo)

Charlie Gard is an eight-month-old baby boy in England who was born with an extremely rare genetic condition. His doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital agreed that he had suffered such profound brain damage that maintaining his life only prolonged his suffering and any possible treatment would be futile and unfair.

His parents, Chris and Connie, like many other desperate parents in similar situations, looked for any alternative to death and found a doctor in America who claimed he could treat the boy. It would cost though.

So they turned to the internet. In a social media campaign that asked donors to give their baby a chance at life and defy the doctors who were apparently signing his death warrant; they raised £1.2m from 80,000 donors.

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