LONDON, U.K. (CBSMiami) –A tweet from President Donald Trump has intensified a global debate about the fate a British baby on life support.
The family of the 11-month-old is fighting to bring him to the U.S. for treatment.
Charlie Gard looked like a happy, healthy baby boy when he was born – before it became known he was suffering from a rare terminal disease. Before he found himself at the center of an ethical and legal battle that now involves Pope Francis and President Trump, who on Monday tweeted, “If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.”
British doctors insist, and British courts agree, there is no help, and no hope, for Charlie. He’s blind and deaf. Can’t move his limbs, or breathe on his own.
It’s a condition so rare that he’s thought to be only 1 of 16 children in the world to suffer from it.
His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates have refused to give up, raising $1.7 million to pay for experimental medical treatment in the U.S.
“It’s literally life or death, isn’t it? If we don’t get this opportunity, he’s going to die,” said Yates.
“What’s the alternative,” said Gard.
“Yeah, so he hasn’t got anything to lose,” said Yates.
As it stands, Europe’s highest court has decided that Charlie’s life support will be turned off.
If the President Trump has any sway in this case at all, the decision ultimately rests with the hospital staff, whether there will be a change of heart and Charlie is allowed to make that trip to the U.S. , or whether the life support system will be switched off as planned.