Terminally Ill Baby, Charlie Gard, Can’t be Transferred to Vatican Hospital
Charlie Gard, a British baby who is on life support due to a rare illness, can’t be transferred to a Vatican hospital due to legal reasons, U.K. Foreign Affairs Secretary Boris Johnson said, according to BBC.
Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome asked if it can take over care for the terminally ill 11-month-old that is going to be taken off life support at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, which cared for the baby since October 2016.
Johnson told the Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano that legal obstacles prevent moving the baby.
Charlie has mitochondrial depletion syndrome. His body cannot produce all the energy it needs to run, so it slowly breaks down and ultimately fails. There is no known cure. The baby is already suffering from brain damage.
Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, would like to try an experimental treatment in America that, at present, isn’t able to cure Charlie, but might restore some of his brain function while the disease progresses.
The U.K. hospital recently won a court case against the couple that allows it to turn off life support and let Charlie die.
The hospital could have turned the machines off already, but it decided to give the family additional time.
Pope Francis expressed sympathy for the family on Sunday and on Monday President Donald Trump added his voice.
“If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so,” Trump tweeted.
Charlie’s parents have been spending his last days with him at the hospital before he is taken off life support, according to BBC. On June 29, hey were denied their final wish to take their son home to die.
Chris Jasurek contributed to this article.