WASHINGTON – One cannot imagine a more wrenching moral dilemma than the case of little Charlie Gard. He is a beautiful 11-month-old boy with an incurable genetic disease. It depletes his cells’ energy-producing structures, the mitochondria, thereby progressively ravaging his organs. He cannot hear, he cannot see, he can barely open his eyes. He cannot swallow, he cannot move, he cannot breathe on his own. He suffers from severe epilepsy and his brain is seriously damaged. Doctors aren’t even sure whether he can feel pain.
For months, he’s been at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. His doctors have recommended removing him from life support.
His parents are deeply opposed. They have repeatedly petitioned the courts to allow them to take Charlie for experimental treatment in the United States.
The courts have denied the parents’ petition. They concluded that the proposed treatment has no chance of saving the child and would do nothing but inflict upon him further suffering. They did, however, allow the American specialist to come to London to examine Charlie. He is giving his findings to the court. A final ruling is expected Tuesday.