President of Rome’s Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù Hospital reaches out
The president of Rome’s Vatican-owned Bambino Gesù Hospital, Mariella Enoc, said Monday she has asked her health director to ask London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital if terminally ill 11-month-old British boy Charlie Gard can be moved there. “We know that it is a desperate case and that there are no effective therapies,” Enoc said, adding “we are close to the parents in prayer and, if this is their desire, willing to take their child, for the time he has left to live”. Enoc said Pope Francis’s words on the case summed up her hospital’s mission: “Defending human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a commitment of love that God entrusts to all men”.
The European Court of Human Rights has rejected an appeal filed by the parents to enable Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage from which he will not recover, to undergo treatment in the US.
Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital were scheduled to take him off life support on Friday but then extended their deadline.
Before the European court, judges in the UK had ruled that it was lawful for the hospital to withdraw life-sustaining treatment because the child would suffer harm if his present suffering was prolonged without any realistic prospect of improvement and that the experimental therapy could not provide real benefits.
Politicians across the political spectrum in Italy condemned the decision.
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