Parents withdraw legal action over their sick baby

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LONDON — The parents of critically ill baby Charlie Gard dropped their legal bid Monday to send him to the United States for experimental treatment after new medical tests showed it could no longer help.

Lawyer Grant Armstrong said Chris Gard and Connie Yates were withdrawing their appeal at a London High Court hearing. As the couple wept, Armstrong said recent medical tests on Charlie showed the baby has irreversible muscular damage.

“It’s too late for Charlie,” Armstrong said. “The damage has been done”

Armstrong said the news had left Charlie’s parents extremely distressed and they now “wish to spend the maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie.”

The 11-month-old has a rare genetic condition, and his parents wanted him to receive an experimental treatment. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital had argued that the treatment wouldn’t help and could cause the child pain. They wanted to switch off his life support and allow him to die peacefully.

The case won international attention after Charlie’s parents received support from Pope Francis, U.S. President Donald Trump and some members of the U.S. Congress.

Judge Nicholas Francis had scheduled a two-day hearing to consider fresh evidence after Dr. Michio Hirano, an American neurology expert from Columbia Medical Center in New York, came to London to examine the child. But Armstrong said nothing further could be done.

“Due to the delay in treatment that window of opportunity has been lost ” Armstrong said.