|>>|| No. 412067
Representatives of Great Ormond Street Hospital have testified that Charlie Gard has irreparable brain damage and will be permanently blind, deaf, unable to make purposeful movement and dependent on a respirator. They are of the opinion that, even if his life can be saved by an experimental treatment, his quality of life will be negligible. Evidence to the contrary has been presented by doctors who have never seen the boy.
Charlie's parents are understandably trying to remain optimistic, but there comes a point where optimism becomes delusion. They have been quoted as saying "we don't want him in the ground, we want him riding a bike", but given the extent of the brain damage described by his doctors, this is extraordinarily unlikely.
There is an element of catch-22 in this case. If Charlie has sufficient brain function to experience any sort of quality of life, then it is far more likely that he is suffering and would continue to suffer if efforts were made to prolong his life. If he is not suffering, then it is most likely because his brain is irreparably damaged.
The courts are doing exactly what they are supposed to do - make the best decision on behalf of the patient, on the best available evidence. Mr Justice Francis has clearly stated that he is open to changing his view in light of substantial new evidence, but no such evidence has been presented. The Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights have all upheld the original ruling.
I do not believe that I am in any position to challenge the opinions of a team of world-leading paediatric specialists and the highest courts in the country. I sympathise with the Gard family, but I am extremely sceptical about the motivations of many of their supporters.