- The Washington Times - Monday, July 24, 2017

The parents of terminally ill infant Charlie Gard have given up their monthslong legal fight after a U.S. doctor said it is too late to try an experimental treatment to save the baby’s life.

Grant Armstrong, the lawyer representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates, told the British High Court on Monday that the window of opportunity to treat the child has closed.

“For Charlie, it’s too late,” Mr. Armstrong told the court. “Time has run out. Irreversible muscular damage has been done, and the treatment can no longer be a success.”

Charlie suffers from DNA depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. The 11-month-old is unable to see or hear, or breathe or move on his own.

A U.S. neurologist, Dr. Michio Hirano, was allowed to examine Charlie to see whether his experimental therapy might be able to reverse the condition. But after examining results of an MRI scan, Dr. Hirano said the time for treatment had passed.

The Gards raised more than $1.7 million in private donations to take Charlie to America for the therapy, but British doctors and judges would not allow Charlie to be moved, saying it was in his “best interests” to die with dignity.

The European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene in the case on July 27, exhausting the Gards’ final legal avenue for appeal.

But the case caught the eye of world leaders, including President Trump and Pope Francis, who offered to help the Gard family in any way that they could.

Congress even granted Charlie U.S. citizenship to assist the potential relocation.

There appeared to be hope when Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being treated, asked for a new trial this month to consider fresh evidence.

But time had already run out for Charlie.

Charlie has waited patiently for treatment,” Mr. Armstrong said Monday. “Due to delay, that window of opportunity has been lost.”

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