At the last minute British High Court issues temporary reprieve in case of baby whose life support was to be turned off at midnight

Charlie Gard’s life spared until UK Supreme Court issues a decision June 8 whether to hear an appeal

By Kathy Ostrowski, Kansans for Life, Policy & Research director

Charlie Gard

Charlie Gard

In an eleventh hour action, a three member panel of the UK Supreme Court has issued a temporary court-ordered reprieve in the case of a nine month old baby whose life support had been scheduled to be turned off at midnight Wednesday over his parents’ strenuous objections.

The panel will announce whether they will take the case on June 8. Until then, life support cannot be removed from Charlie Gard.

The drama centers around little Charlie, suffering from a rare mitochondrial depletion syndrome. His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have been prevented from removing him from the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London to take him to the United States for experimental treatment.

In two lower court rulings , issued April 11 and May 25, GOSH’s control over Charlie has trumped the parent’s wishes to take their son overseas for nucleoside bypass therapy.

Connie told ITV News:

“We have had our parental rights stripped away as if they don’t matter at all. Our son is basically being kept as a prisoner at the hospital.”

Chris told the interviewer, that if Charlie didn’t need “an apparatus blowing air into his lungs I could take him away,” but because he does, “we don’t have a chance and they [GOSH] get to say what happens to him.”

In its coverage of the latest development, The Sun newspaper include a video news clip that shows an American girl, ”Sara,” who was once immobilized with the same mitochondrial syndrome but is now riding a bike after one year of the nucleoside bypass treatment.

The hospital position—thus far affirmed in court– is that Charlie is already so “ravaged” that he will not “benefit” from the new therapy and he should be allowed to die “with dignity.”

A tremendous public outcry in opposition to the hospital’s position is backed up with $1.5 million pledged on GoFundMe to pay for Charlie’s therapy and trip overseas.

If permission is granted next Thursday by the Supreme Court, another date for a full hearing will be set.

The Daily Mail reports that Charlie’s parents’ plan is “to try to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if they lose at the Supreme Court.”

The delay in court rulings, while sparing Charlie from being unplugged from the respirator, has prevented him from starting the new therapy.

The ordeal has been, in Connie’s words, “absolutely terrifying” but both parents have vowed they won’t stop fighting for their son: “Where there’s life there’s hope.”