Charlie Gard: How Did Things Go Wrong?

Elisha Waldman, Joel Frader*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: We examine the discussions generated to date by the Charlie Gard case, as well as the events of the case itself, in order to examine lessons for providers dealing with similar situations in the future. Recent Findings: Publications regarding the Gard case are relatively few and focus primarily on the ethical and legal issues that arise when involving the court system in complex medical decision-making and potential limits to parental authority. Some publications have also addressed the subject of experimental therapies, especially from the perspective of potential harms, suffering, and cost. Summary: We suggest early introduction of palliative care and careful attention to communication might reduce conflict and improve satisfaction for all involved parties. Likewise, we suggest limiting court system to truly extraordinary circumstances; all efforts should be made to avoid legal action and to honor and respect parental authority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-177
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Pediatrics Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Best interest
  • Communication
  • Harm
  • Palliative care
  • Parental authority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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