LONDON — The father of baby Charlie Gard, who has been fighting London doctors in court for months to be allowed to try to save his son’s life, shouted at a lawyer in the U.K.’s High Court of Justice in frustration Monday.
“When are you going to start telling the truth?” Chris Gard demanded of an attorney representing the Greater Ormond Street Hospital that has been preventing the parents from seeking novel medical treatment for their baby in the United States and wants him disconnected from life support.
“It’s not the truth, I’m telling you,” Connie Yates, the baby’s 31-year-old distraught mother, told the judge. “I’m really sorry — can you listen to me?
“They said we could go to America as long as we had the money. Now they’re saying we can’t.
“It’s not fair; it’s not fair. Ten percent — if that was your son, you would take that chance. He’s our son. Please listen to us.”
The parents’ frustration reflects the feelings of many of the 350,000 people who signed a petition to support them, held prayer vigils and protests in front of British embassies and donated nearly $2 million to a GoFundMe campaign for the medical care for their 11-month-old baby, who is at the center of a roiling legal battle that pits doctors against doctors and ethicists against ethicists.
Emotions have run high for months in this ordeal, as Charlie’s parents have lost appeal after appeal to allow their baby to travel from the London hospital where he is currently fighting for his life in an intensive care unit to the United States or Italy, where doctors have offered to try experimental but non-invasive interventions for his rare genetic disorder.
Judge Nicholas Francis, who presided at the two-hour hearing, ruled against the couple in April in favor of the hospital doctors’ claim that seeking treatment was “futile” and not in Charlie’s “best interests.”