Ruling in favour of the parents of a 10-month-old brain-damaged baby, the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday (13 June) ordered the British government to continue to keep the child on life support until 19 June to give the parents time to prepare for a full legal case.
The parents — Chris Gard and Connie Yates — approached the court after doctors and medical experts in the UK refused to continue their son's treatment and also objected to their idea of taking their son to the US for further treatment.
The infant, Charlie, is reportedly suffering from a rare genetic disease called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which UK doctors have said causes irreversible brain damage. The baby is currently on life support at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
The parents strongly believe that if their son undergoes nucleoside bypass therapy in the US, he might have a second chance at life, but medical experts in the UK said it was an experimental move and would not help the baby. They have also raised about $2.2m for the treatment, according to Sky News.
"While he's still fighting, we're still fighting, we've said that from the very beginning," Gard said of his son and their hope of getting him cured in the US. "And he has fought so hard to still be here, and he's still fighting."
The parents accused the London hospital of keeping their son as a "prisoner" in the hospital. "Our parental rights have been completely stripped — the minute we took him in there, in hindsight, we lost him," Gard said.
Charlie has been in the intensive care unit since October 2016. His parents lost an initial legal challenge in April after a high court judge ruled in favour of the Great Ormond Street doctors who objected to the parents' US trip with the infant.
The parents are now preparing to file a full legal application seeking permission to take their son to the US for treatment.
Meanwhile, the parents recently posted a new photo of their son on Facebook with the message "a picture speaks a thousand words".