Leader comment: Lessons from tragic case

Charlie's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard. Picture: AFP
Charlie's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard. Picture: AFP
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The story of Charlie Gard has been tragic from start to finish.

No-one can fail to have been touched by the agony the family of the 11-month-old baby has gone through.

The situation that Charlie’s mother and father faced was every parent’s nightmare.

One of the saddest aspects of the case was that Connie Yates and Chris Gard found themselves caught up in a high-profile legal battle which must have made it even harder for them to cope with their awful situation.

In the end, they lost their legal battle and they lost their son. Their hopes for experimental treatment, for Charlie to be allowed to die at home, and finally for him to continue to receive life support in a hospice for several days were all dashed.

Great Ormond Street Hospital has said it will examine what it can learn from the case.

It is difficult to see how the ultimate outcome could have been avoided, but it is clear there was a breakdown in trust between Charlie’s parents and the doctors an early stage.

In the end, it was decided the loss of the child could not be feasibly prevented, but the parents’ heartbreaking experience was worse than it should have been.