The London hospital where Charlie Gard is living his last days has refused a transfer request from the Pediatric hospital Bambino Gesu in Rome for legal reasons.
“This is sad news,” said Mariella Enoc, President Bambino Gesu, often referred to as the “Pope’s Hospital.” The hospital had offered on Monday to transfer Charlie to their facilities from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London (UK), where the child and his family are currently staying.
London and and European courts have ruled that Charlie must be pulled from life support and that he will not be allowed to die at home.
Charlie Gard is a 10-month old suffering a rare, terminal, genetic illness. His parents have lost several legal battles in the fight to prolong the life of their son, including a request to send him to the United States for experimental treatment.
Enoc told Italian media on July 4 that he had offered the transfer after being contacted by Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates.
He added that he wanted to offer the family his support especially because of the Pope’s backing of the family.
On Sunday, July 2, the Holy See Press Office director Greg Burke issued a statement in which Pope Francis called for respect for the will of Charlie Gard’s parents.
“The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the story of Charlie Gard and expresses his own closeness to his parents,” read a July 2 statement issued by Vatican spokesman Greg Burke.
“He prays for them, wishing that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end will be respected.”
On June 30, the day the Charlie’s life support was initially scheduled to be disconnected, the Pope also used his Twitter account to send a clear pro-life message in the infant’s favor.
The hospital in London agreed to allow Charlie’s life support to continue for a few more days, to allow the family more time with their son.