"Some people may ask why the court has any function in this process; why can the parents not make this decision on their own?" Francis wrote.
"The answer is that, although the parents have parental responsibility, overriding control is vested in the court exercising its independent and objective judgment in the child's best interests. The Great Ormond Street Hospital has made an application and it is my duty to rule on it, given that the parents and the hospital cannot agree on the best way forward."
Charlie has a rare disorder called mitochondrial depletion syndrome which causes progressive muscle weakness, believed to affect fewer than 20 children worldwide. He has suffered significant brain damage due to the disease and is currently fed through a tube, breathes with an artificial ventilator, and is unable to move.
Hospital experts from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) argued in court that long-term life support should be withdrawn from Charlie because his quality of life was "so poor". Charlie's state-appointed counsel argued that the treatments available in the United States were only experimental and that long-term life support would only "prolong the process of dying" for Charlie.
However, Charlie's parents' legal representative argued that traveling to the U.S. for treatments would not have cause Charlie significant suffering or harm and could have given him another chance. She also argued that the parent's wishes should carry "great weight" in the decision.
Yates, Charlie's mother, previously told the BBC: "We just want to have our chance. It would never be a cure but it could help him live. If it saves him, amazing. I want to save others. Even if Charlie doesn't make it through this, I don't ever want another mum and their child to go through this."