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  HOME | Science, Nature & Technology

Brain-Damaged British Infant at Center of Controversy Dies

LONDON – Charlie Gard, the terminally ill British infant at the center of a legal fight between his parents and the doctors treating him, has died, a family spokesman said on Friday.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates, parents of the 11-month-old baby affected by mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, fought for months to be able to take their child to the United States against the advice of the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, which was treating him.

On a judicial visit this Thursday, a judge of the London High Court ruled that the child be taken to another hospital specializing in terminal illnesses, where the boy was disconnected from all the devices keeping him alive, because he was already suffering from massive and irreversible brain damage.

“Our beautiful little boy has gone, we’re so proud of him,” his mother said Friday in a statement to the media.

Connie Yates lamented that she was not allowed to spend a few days with the infant before he was disconnected from his artificial respiration ventilator.

The baby boy’s parents had kept up an unyielding media battle with Great Ormond Hospital in recent months, which considered the experimental treatment being offered in the United States could not improve his quality of life and said he should be allowed to die with dignity.

Last Monday, Gard and Yates announced they were giving up their legal battle to take Charlie to the US because the health of the baby had deteriorated to a “point of no return,” and asked the judge to allow them to take the baby home before he died.

But the couple finally accepted the alternative suggested by Great Ormond Street Hospital, which considered taking the boy home impractical, and he was moved to an unidentified center specializing in palliative care, where he was disconnected from the devices that were keeping him alive.

 

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