Chris Gard and Connie Yates announced their decision as a High Court judge was preparing to hear additional arguments in the five-month legal fight.
Grant Armstrong, attorney for Charlie’s parent’s, said that “time had run out” for the baby. Armstrong attributed the parents’ decision to an American doctor’s opinion that it was too late for the baby to receive nucleoside therapy.
“The parents’ worst fears have been confirmed,” Armstrong said. “For Charlie, it is too late. The damage has been done.”
Armstrong told the judge that Dr. Michino Hirano, a neurologist from the United States, reviewed the results of an MRI scan taken last week and concluded that he could not offer Charlie the experimental nucleoside therapy.
Connie Yates took the stand and said, “This is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. Following the most recent MRI scan, we’ve decided to let our son go. He is not brain dead. A whole lot of time has been wasted. Charlie’s quality of life could have been improved greatly (by earlier treatment).
“Our poor boy has just been left to lie there for months without treatment, left with this illness to deteriorate to [the] point of no return,” she said. “But no organ has failed, [there is] no proof he is in pain or suffering.”
Yates continued, regarding her son: “We are sorry we could not save you.”
According to Armstrong, Chris Gard and Connie Yates will now seek to establish a foundation so that Charlie’s voice “continues to be heard.”
The couple had raised £1.3m in donations to take their 11-month-old to the United States for treatment of his encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.
President Trump had recently committed his support to helping Charlie Gard.
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