In contrast to courts in the USA, courts in the UK have provided substantial guidance in medical futility conflicts. One of the most recent of these cases involves seven-month-old Charlie Gard. He has a mitochondrial depletion syndrome for which there is no cure.
Clinicians at Great Ormond Street Hospital determined that continued life-sustaining treatment was inappropriate. But Charlie’s parents would not consent. So, clinicians asked the court for permission to stop. They had both a detailed benefit/burden table and the concurrence of a second hospital.
The court has given the parents time to try to raise money for a transfer to the United States for an experimental therapy.