Today, Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) and Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) released the below statement, announcing that when Congress returns to session next week, they intend to introduce legislation granting lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. to Charlie Gard and his family.
"Despite Charlie’s heartbreaking condition, his parents have refused to give up hope. They have advocated for him fiercely. They have raised over £1 million to pay for their son to receive experimental treatment in the United States. They have kept fighting for his life.
Our bill will support Charlie's parents' right to choose what is best for their son, by making Charlie a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. in order for him to receive treatments that could save his life.
Should this little boy to be ordered to die -- because a third party, overriding the wishes of his parents, believes it can conclusively determine that immediate death is what is best for him?
Every human life has dignity, including the lives of those who cannot speak up for themselves. When government is able to overrule a parent or guardian in determining a patient’s best interest, every vulnerable patient is put at risk. We offer Connie Yates and Chris Gard our heartfelt support as they seek to care for their son."
Charlie Gard was diagnosed with infantile-onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, a rare genetic condition that is considered terminal. The hospital where he has been receiving care, Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, determined that he should be removed from life support. Although Connie Yates and Chris Gard appealed the decision in the courts, they were ultimately overruled by the European Court of Human Rights.
According to the Washington Post, New-York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center has offered to admit Charlie Gard and provide him with an experimental treatment, pending emergency FDA approval. It has also offered to provide Great Ormond Street Hospital with the drug if approved.