Donations are still pouring in to a treatment fund for a terminally-ill baby at the centre of a life-support treatment dispute even though a High Court judge has ruled that the little boy should be allowed to “die with dignity”.
Charlie Gard’s parents are considering their next move after Mr Justice Francis decided that doctors could stop providing life-support treatment.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, who are both in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, hoped to be allowed to take eight-month-old Charlie to America for a treatment trial.
The judge on Tuesday said Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should move to a palliative care regime.
But people are continuing to give money to an appeal launched by Charlie’s parents on a GoFundMe website to raise money to cover doctors’ bill in the United States.
More than £1.2 million has already been raised and more than 100 people added more than £2,000 in the seven hours after Mr Justice Francis’s ruling.
Some donors questioned Mr Justice Francis. One said she was “simply speechless” another said the decision was “wrong”.
Lawyers representing Mr Gard and Miss Yates say an appeal could be launched.
Doctors say they will continue to provide life-support treatment until appeal decisions have been made.
Bosses at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London had asked the judge to rule that withdrawing life-support treatment would be lawful.
Mr Justice Francis granted their application after analysing the case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London over three days.
He said he had reached his conclusion with the ‘’heaviest of hearts’’ but with ‘’complete conviction’’.
Mr Justice Francis paid tribute to the couple and said they had shown ‘’absolute dedication’’ to their ‘’wonderful boy’’.
The judge, who had visited Charlie at Great Ormond Street, said it has been his ‘’sad duty’’ to apply the law relating to a terminally-ill child’s best interests when doctors and parents could not agree.
Mr Gard and Miss Yates sank their heads into their hands and wept as the judge announced his decision.
Mr Justice Francis heard that Charlie, who was born on August 4, had a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.
Specialists in the US had offered a therapy called nucleoside.
But the judge said experts were agreed that the treatment could not reverse Charlie’s structural brain damage.
He said experimentation might benefit medical science but could not benefit Charlie.
Mr Justice Francis said Great Ormond Street doctors had considered the experimental treatment on offer in America but decided that it would not help the youngster.
He said the case had never been ‘’about money’’.
A GoFundMe spokesman said officials would have discussions with Charlie’s parents about what would happen to the money raised for treatment.