Charlie Gard dies in hospice after High Court rules against prolonging life supportBMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3673 (Published 31 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3673
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Re: Charlie Gard dies in hospice after High Court rules against prolonging life support - who has benefited?
Disagreements between medical carers and families of critically ill patients in the ICU about the appropriateness of further intensive therapy that end in the courts reflect a breakdown in relationships and a lack of trust between the various parties. Why would you not trust or believe in the opinion of the doctors and nurses at a centre of excellence such as Great Ormond Street Hospital for children? Someone (or something e.g. Dr Google) somewhere gave Charlie's parents misleading advice and this has led to the family's tragedy being played out in public. Whilst some might say that "there is no such thing as false hope - there is only hope or no hope", in Charlie's case there was no hope! The interventions of the Boston neurologist, President Trump and indeed the Pope were unhelpful, inflaming a difficult situation and may well have prolonged Charlie's suffering. Charlie's parents are likely to remain angry, bitter and resentful as a consequence of this prolonged end of life experience of their child and only the lawyers concerned will have benefited from the process.
I would like to see open disclosure of all legal fees paid in this case plus the costs of hearing this case in the various courts. Finally the legal fees of GOS Children's Hospital should be paid from the funds raised (by crowd funding) to take Charlie to the US for futile treatment.
Competing interests: No competing interests