House Bill Would Give Charlie Gard U.S. Permanent Resident Status

By Michael W. Chapman | July 11, 2017 | 5:55 PM EDT

Baby Charlie Gard and his parents,

Christopher Gard and Connie Yates.


( -- Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation Tuesday that would grant lawful permanent resident status in the United States to British nationals Christopher Gard, Connie Yates, and their 11-month-old son Charlie Gard, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder.

Charlie's parents are trying to free their son from a hospital in London--which wants to remove his life support and let him die--in order to receive an experimental treatment in the United States or at the Vatican hospital in Rome.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital in London believes that Charlie is terminal; he apparently is brain damaged and his internal organs are deteriorating to such a degree from encephalonyapathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS) he will not recover. The hospital wants to turn off his ventialator and reportedly have refused to allow his parents to take him home to die.

Charlie's parents have fought numerous legal battles to free their son and a London judge has agreed to review new evidence about the experiemntal treatment they want for Charlie.  The parents have raised more than $1.6 million in online donations to pay for the care. 

"The fight for Charlie Gard’s life has caught the attention of the world," said Reps. Wenstrup and Franks in a July 11 statement.  "His heartbreaking condition and situation are unique, but the human rights at stake span borders and cross country lines."

Christopher Gard and Connie Yates. (Photo: National Review) 

"A medical center in the U.S. has offered to provide Charlie with experimental treatment," said the congressmen.  "Our proposed legislation grants lawful permanent status in the U.S. to Charlie Gard and his family, so they are at least enabled to pursue their best hope for Charlie."

"Not only does experimental treatment provide the only chance to save little Charlie’s life, it also offers the opportunity for Charlie to positively impact the chance of recovery for others suffering from this condition in the future," they said. "We believe that Charlie and his parents should have this option, should they choose to pursue it."

As reported yesterday, the New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Columbia University Irving Medical Center have offered to accept Charlie Gard for treatment. The medical center has also offered to provide the Great Ormond Street Hospital with the experimental drug, stated the congressmen. 

House Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) 

"Ultimately, this case is about one little boy’s life and his parents’ fight to do everything in their power to save it," said Reps. Franks and Wenstrup.  "But it also serves as a powerful reminder that every human life has dignity, including the lives of the voiceless and most vulnerable. God forgive us all if we forget that.”


Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman