Baby Charlie Gard is to have his life support switched off today.
Conflicting reports over the decision have surfaced. Some sources suggest that the parents have been rushed into the decision, whilst a hospital spokesperson has allegedly told the media that there was ‘no rush’ to switch off Charlie’s life support.
The parents also requested that Charlie spend his last night with them at home or in a hospice, a request which has been denied by Great Ormond Street Hospital. Whilst the hospital has refused to comment on the reasons behind refusing to allow Charlie to leave his room at Great Ormond Street, it is likely that the refusal relates to concerns over the Gards fleeing the country to take Charlie to America for the pioneering treatment they were denied in court.
The concerns may have been sparked from a similar case involving a young boy with a brain tumour called Ashya King, whose parents wanted to try alternative treatment for their son, and who fled the UK to Spain to take him to a clinic offering the medical support they wanted after a hospital in England blocked them from doing so. (Ashya got the treatment, and made a full recovery).
Our thoughts and prayers are with Charlie and his parents today. Researching Reform, like many others in the UK and around the world, will be mourning a loss we have come to feel as our own.
The world stands by your side.
UPDATE: As of this afternoon, Great Ormond Street hospital has allowed Charlie’s parents to spend more time with him, and won’t be switching off his life support today.