Utterly devastating news for the parents – and family – of little Charlie Gard today.
They have fought tirelessly against Great Ormond Street hospital who wanted the 10-month old – who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage – to “die with dignity”.
Britain’s top court had already agreed with doctors’ decision that his life support be turned off.
Earlier this month, Charlie’s mum and dad, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, appealed to the European Court of Humans Rights, arguing that he could be taken for experimental and potentially life-saving therapy in the States.
But they have now issued their final decision – to back British courts.
Tearful Connie told Sky News the decision was “upsetting”.
Great Ormond Street have said: “Our thoughts are with Charlie’s parents on receipt of this news that we know will be very distressing for them.
“Today’s decision by the European Court of Human Rights marks the end of what has been a very difficult process and our priority is to provide every possible support to Charlie’s parents as we prepare for the next steps.”
In April, a High Court judge ruled against Charlie’s family’s will to keep their boy’s life support switched on, which was backed by the Court of Appeal and then the Supreme Court.
The European Court of Humans Rights stated the British courts had concluded “on the basis of extensive, high-quality expert evidence, that it was most likely Charlie was being exposed to continued pain, suffering and distress and that undergoing experimental treatment with no prospects of success would offer no benefit, and continue to cause him significant harm”.
After each setback with the courts, Charlie’s parents have fought determinedly for what they believe to be the best for their son, desperate to save his life.
The couple managed to raise over £1.3 million to be able to take their tot to the US to undergo experimental life-saving therapy treatment.
Earlier this year, Connie and Chris left This Morning viewers in tears after explaining they had just one month to save their life of their son, who is suffering from a rare condition known as mitochrondrial depletion syndrome.
Speaking on the ITV daytime show back in March, Connie made a desperate plea for people to help save her son.
She said: “We can’t just let our baby die when there is hope and treatment available that might help him.
“If Charlie receives this treatment and it does work it won’t just be his life that’s saved, it will be many more children in future who are born with this horrible disease.
“Like any loving parents, we will do whatever it takes to save our baby’s life.”