Charlie GardImage copyright
PA

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Charlie’s rare disease has left him unable to cry and made him deaf

Doctors can stop providing life-support treatment to ill baby Charlie Gard, Court of Appeal judges have ruled.

Charlie’s parents appealed against a ruling made last month that would allow specialists to move their eight-month-old son to palliative care.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates had raised £1.3m to send him to the US for a trial treatment.

Doctors argued continuing life-support treatment would not benefit Charlie but “prolong the process of dying”.

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PA

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Chris Gard and Connie Yates have raised more than £1.3m for treatment in the US

Charlie has a disorder called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which affects the genetic building blocks that give energy to cells.

Great Ormond Street Hospital said the baby was unable to see, hear, make a noise or move.

Last month, High Court judge Mr Justice Francis concluded that life-support treatment should end and said Charlie should be allowed die with dignity.

He said he had made the decision with the “heaviest of hearts” but with “complete conviction” for Charlie’s best interests.

Charlie’s parents, from Bedfont, west London, had asked three Court of Appeal judges to overturn Mr Justice Francis’s decision.

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Specialists at Great Ormond Street say there is no accepted cure for Charlie’s rare disease

But Lord Justice McFarlane, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Sales, who analysed evidence at a hearing in London on Tuesday, have upheld the ruling.

Richard Gordon QC, who led Charlie’s parents’ legal team, told appeal judges that they “wish to exhaust all possible options”.

“This court should not stand in the way of their only remaining hope.”

He said judges should not interfere with parents’ exercise of parental rights and added: “What is really at stake in this case is the State, on a massive scale, intruding in your right to private and family life.”

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Connie Yates and Chris Gard with their son Charlie, who was born healthy in August last year

The hospital said Charlie was “a terminally-ill child” whose health was “deteriorating day by day”.

A spokesman said: “We explored the request to use a therapy that had not been used before and sought independent, international medical opinions on what would represent the best possible treatment for Charlie.

“The medical and legal consensus, confirmed by today’s ruling, is that it is in Charlie’s best interests to be allowed to die with dignity.”

Lord Justice McFarlane praised Charlie’s parents’ composure and dignity throughout the case and said: “My heart goes out to them.”

But he suggested that the couple’s criticisms of Mr Justice Francis’s ruling were ill-founded.

He said Mr Justice Francis had based decisions on “the core evidence”.

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