Charlie Gard – Court Gives Parents More Time in Medical Futility Conflict

In contrast to courts in the USA, courts in the UK have provided substantial guidance in medical futility conflicts.  One of the most recent of these cases involves seven-month-old Charlie Gard.  He has a mitochondrial depletion syndrome for which there is no cure.  

Clinicians at Great Ormond Street Hospital determined that continued life-sustaining treatment was inappropriate.  But Charlie’s parents would not consent.  So, clinicians asked the court for permission to stop.  They had both a detailed benefit/burden table and the concurrence of a second hospital. 

The court has given the parents time to try to raise money for a transfer to the United States for an experimental therapy.  

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.