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Reality Check: Why don’t Charlie Gard’s parents have the final say?

In the UK, while parents have the right to make decisions about their children’s medical treatment, their wishes will be overruled if they refuse a reasonable life-saving treatment which has a very high chance of working.

The classic example of this is parents who are Jehovah’s Witnesses and refuse blood transfusions due to their faith. There have been many cases where the courts have sided with the doctors against the wishes of the parents.

There is a difference, of course, between parents refusing recommended treatment and parents, as in Charlie’s case, asking for treatment against advice.