Italian foreign minister lobbies Boris Johnson over Charlie Gard

Kristen Gonzales
July 6, 2017

United Kingdom envoy Boris Johnson's comment to the Italian foreign minister on Wednesday came after the Vatican children's hospital offered to treat 11-month-old Charlie Gard. Johnson's spokesman said: "The Foreign Secretary said this was a deeply tragic and complex case for all involved, and said it was right that decisions continued to be led by expert medical opinion, supported by the courts".

In London, Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, crowdfunded almost $1.7 million in four months to finance having the baby treated in the United States.

Mariella Enoc told reporters she had asked the hospital if Charlie could be transferred to their unit in Rome. The offer came as an effort to prevent doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London from turning off the baby's life support and to allow his parents to be the ones making the decision on whether to do so or not.

After Trump's tweet Monday offering help for Charlie's treatment, the toddler's mother responded saying that she will continue to fight for her child. An American hospital has now offered to pay for the sick infant's treatment.

The comment at prime minister's questions came after the USA president, Donald Trump, offered help to the 11-month-old's parents, while Pope Francis expressed his support for the family.

But the U.K.'s top death panel has been affirmed by the so-called "European Court of Human Rights", which is apparently some kind of worldwide death panel that convenes in Strasbourg, France, but reserves the right to sentence children everywhere to die.

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But their legal attempts were blocked by judges in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court - all of whom supported the doctors' judgement.

Pope Francis had already expressed his support for Charlie's family, and on Tuesday the Vatican said it would do everything it could to make sure Charlie gets the treatment he needs. While it is different symptoms - Charlie is deaf, blind, brain damaged and unable to breathe on his own - her son has faced his own difficulties.

"We're not allowed to choose if our son lives and we're not allowed to choose when or where Charlie dies". The controversy around Gard has engulfed the Vatican, which infuriated some on the right by not immediately siding entirely with the parents, who want to seek experimental medication in the US or bring their child home to die. Last week, his parents lost a legal battle to take him to the USA for trial therapy.

Now, the date Charlie's life support will be switched off appears to be up in the air, as the hospital is allowing the parents to spend more time with their child.

A Vatican statement Sunday shifted the Holy See's position from earlier in the week, when the Vatican's bioethics advisory panel had noted the need to do whatever helps a patient but also to sometimes accept the limits of medicine.

"For them he prays, hoping that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end is not ignored", Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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