Tuesday 20 February 2018

Parents of ill child are entitled to have hope

Charlie Gard’s parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates
Charlie Gard’s parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates

Straight Talking - Deborah Coleman

The case of UK baby Charlie Gard has caught the attention and the hearts of the world.

The 10-month-old, who UK doctors believe is terminally ill with no chance of recovery, has been the subject of a long running legal process as his parents try to extend his life and prevent medics from turning off life support.

Mr Gard and Ms Yates believe that their son would benefit from pioneering treatment in the USA and have the support of a medical expert there but last month the court ruled in favour of the UK hospital which advised that there is no more they can do for the infant.

This is one of the most heartbreaking cases I have ever seen and my heart goes out to the family.

Who can blame them for exploring every possible avenue and clinging onto every shred of hope that help can be found for their beloved son?

They have never given up that their son's condition can improve and that with the right treatment he might one day be able to enjoy a better quality of life.

Last week the case made international headlines once again as President Donald Trump and Pope Francis pledged support for the family.

The Vatican's children's hospital has promised to facilitate the treatment if the UK courts would overturn their ruling and allow Charlie Gard to travel for such.

His parents were previously denied permission to take him to the US for experimental treatment, but it appears that the international attention on the case could have helped their cause.

If any respected medical professional throughout the world holds the view that they can help the child, then how on earth could his parents give up their fight? How could they not take any possible chance out there to help their son?

Some might say that they should take on board what the UK medical team have said but then that would mean saying goodbye to their precious baby while wondering if they could have done more or fought harder for this treatment.

They have shown immense courage and fortitude in their battle - taking on such a legal challenge in tandem with keeping a vigil at their son's bedside.

They vowed to do whatever they could to try and help him and that is what they are doing.

Fingal Independent

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