Charlie Gard Foundation

Championing the rights of vulnerable children in our health system

Background

When Charlie Gard died in 2017, after a high-profile court dispute between his parents and the hospital responsible for his treatment, the Charlie Gard Foundation contacted Whitehouse to help them build political and media support for ‘Charlie’s Law’ – a Bill which would protect the doctor and parent relationship in future disputes around the treatment of a child and prevent similar cases from ending up in court.

Outcomes

Whitehouse delivered wide-ranging cross-party support for Charlie’s Law in both Houses, with over 15 MPs sponsoring a Private Members Bill tabled by Bambos Charalambous MP (Labour) in February 2020. Whitehouse also worked with former President of the BMA, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff to push through Charlie’s Law in the Lords, as part of a wider Access to Palliative Care and Treatment for Children Bill. Her Private Members Bill has reached Committee Stage in the parliamentary Bills process.

Whitehouse have led conversations with the medical community too and are currently in discussions with medical organisations who are formulating their official stance on the Bills.

We have also secured national media coverage for key spokespersons of Charlie’s Law, including Charlie’s parents, two former Presidents of the British Medical Association and politicians, in outlets including ITV News, BBC, Independent, Daily Mail and Telegraph.