LONDON - The parents of Charlie Gard dropped their legal battle to give the terminally ill British baby further treatment on Monday and will now hold discussions with his London hospital about how he should be allowed to die.
Charlie's mother, Connie Yates, who won the support of US President Donald Trump and Pope Francis with a campaign to keep him alive, said 11-month-old Charlie could have lived a normal life if he had been given treatment earlier.
"This is the hardest thing we'll ever have to do," she said in London's High Court where a judge had been due to hear final arguments as to why a hospital should not turn off the boy's life support.
"We have decided it is no longer in his best interests to pursue treatment," Yates said. "We have decided to let our son go ... Charlie did have a real chance of getting better. Now we will never know what would have happened if he got treatment."
Charlie has a rare genetic condition causing progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. His parents had sought to send him to the United States to undergo experimental therapy.
Britain's courts, backed by the European Court of Human Rights, refused permission, saying it would prolong his suffering without any realistic prospect of helping the child.