UP Catholic 08 11 2017 E Edition Page 14

14 August 11, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS www.upcatholic.org Charlie Gard was baptized, held St. Jude medal before death (CNA) - Charlie Gard, an 11 month- old British infant who made headlines around the world over a fierce legal bat- tle on parental rights, had been baptized the same week he died. In April, a picture of his tiny fist made the rounds on the internet of him clutch- ing a St. Jude medal. The boy's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, issued a statement on July 28 announcing his death, saying: Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie. Charlie had been at the center of a legal battle between his parents and the Great Ormund Street Hospital (GOSH), an internationally known children's hospital where he was being cared for. The case raised questions about medical ethics, end-of-life procedure, and parental rights. Charlie was born on Aug. 4 last year, and in September was discovered to have a rare genetic condition which re- sulted in muscular deterioration. He was believed to be one of 16 sufferers of the disease in the world. He was admitted to GOSH in October, and in a series of court cases stretching from March to June, judges repeatedly ruled in favor of doctors who wished to have the boy's life support removed, all the way to the European Court of Human Rights' rejection to hear the case. Yates and Gard had hoped to take Charlie to the U.S. for experimental treatment. In early July, both Pope Francis and U.S. president Donald Trump inter- vened in support of the family on twitter. Trump said that the United States would cooperate with the boy's parents in helping Charlie receive the experimental care. On July 10, unpublished research on Charlie's condition seemed to indicate the therapy being developed in the States could improve his condition. However, as weeks passed, his condition deterio- rated beyond chance of improvement, and GOSH doctors insisted that interna- tional specialists claiming he could im- prove had not fully reviewed his medical records. Yates and Gard conceded their legal battle on July 24 after the latest medical reports indicated their son was beyond improvement indefinitely, and began ighting to have him spend a week in care at home before life support would be pulled. On July 27, Yates announced that they had been denied their wish to have him die at home. The boy's parents had wished to spend a week with him in hospice. This too, however, was denied to them on the grounds that it may cause Charlie prolonged suffering, according to GOSH doctors. The boy's death was announced on July 28 in a statement from the family. A number of prominent figures, both from the secular and Catholic worlds, made statements on the passing of the little boy whose plight sparked inter- national support as well as a debate on medical, infant, and parental rights. Shortly after his passing was an- nounced, Pope Francis tweeted his solidarity with the parents. I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him, the pontiff said. He had previously made two statements in sup- port of and solidarity with the child and his parents. One of these statements led to the Pope's hospital, l'Ospedale Bam- bino Ges, offering to care for Charlie. Days before the boy's passing, Bam- bino Ges issued another statement, called Charlie's Legacy, noting that it was too late for the boy to receive care but also commending the fact that (f)or the first time, the international scientific community has gathered around a single patient, to carefully evaluate all the possibilities. They called this the true legacy of Charlie. COURTESY FEATURE WORLD/CNA Charlie Gard holds a medal of St. Jude.

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