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Charlie Gard case: Doctors can withdraw baby's life support

Doctors told they can withdraw life support treatment from baby Charlie Gard

Giving his ruling, Mr Justice Francis said he had decided Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London applied o the court for permission to withdraw treatment.

Parents Connie and Chris are both carriers of a faulty gene, which they unknowingly passed onto Charlie.

His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have been fighting the hospital's plan, and trying to raise money for an experimental treatment in America that could help their son.

Mr Justice Francis ruled with the "heaviest of hearts" that life-support treatment should stop after analysing evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court and visiting Charlie in hospital.

Doctors say the boy, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should move to a palliative care regime. He said experimentation might benefit medical science but could not benefit Charlie.

Their solicitor, Laura Hobey-Hamster said that Charlie's parents could not understand why the judge had not "at least given Charlie the chance of treatment".

Charlie has a rare disorder called mitochondrial depletion syndrome which causes progressive muscle weakness, believed to affect fewer than 20 children worldwide.

Charlie has irreversible brain damage, is deaf and blind, and requires a ventilator to breathe, the Telegraph reports.

Charlie's parents raised more than £1.2mn over two months through an appeal on a GoFundMe website for the United States treatment after more than 80,000 people pledged money.

The couple have been inundated with pledges, with more than 80,000 people donating just over $2 million AUD in total. "Their son had the chance of treatment that might make him better why wouldn't the judge give them this opportunity", she said.

Barrister Victoria Butler-Cole, who was instructed by a guardian appointed by the judge to independently represent Charlie's interests, also said doctors should stop providing life-support treatment.

'The Great Ormond Street Hospital has made an application and it is my duty to rule on it, given that the parents and the hospital can not agree on the best way forward'.

Great Ormond Street Hospital said in a statement: 'We can not imagine how hugely distressing this time must be for Charlie's family who have been completely devoted to him since he came to our intensive care unit six months ago.

Charlie's parents have asked they 'now be allowed some time to consider what they need to do next, ' Hobey-Hamsher said.

"Most importantly of all, I want to thank Charlie's parents for their courageous and dignified campaign on his behalf, but more than anything to pay tribute to their absolute dedication to their wonderful boy", he said. However, Francis said no one with Charlie's condition had ever been treated with the therapy proposed.