Charlie Gard to be examined by United States doctor who created experimental treatment

Posted July 18, 2017

His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, successfully raised money in hopes of bringing their son to the U.S. for an experimental treatment, but doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie has been since October, argued in court that it was not in their patient's best interest.

Earlier this month New-York Presybterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center offered to admit Charlie and to provide him with experimental treatment, according to the Washington Post.

The new High Court hearing was requested after the Vatican's children's hospital and the USA hospital said a new experimental protocol might work for Charlie, whose parents have been trying to secure a move to the US. Hirano recently put the chances of Charlie improving under new experimental treatment at between 10% and 50%.

Dr Michio Hirano is due to visit Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where he will evaluate the 11-month-old's condition.

The parents of Charlie Gard, who has a rare genetic condition causing progressive muscle weakness and brain damage, have been fighting a legal battle to send him to the United States for the neurologist's experimental therapy.

A judge has previously ruled that Charlie's mother, Connie Yates, can be present for the meetings with Dr Hirano.

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After receiving the letter, Great Ormond Street asked the High Court for a new hearing on Charlie "in the light of claims concerning possible other treatments". Charlie will die from his illness, his doctors have said.

While he has not seen the baby in person, he said that the tests on Charlie's brain show "disorganisation of brain activity and not major structural brain damage".

After a series of hearings and appeals in several courts, the European Court of Human Rights decided on June 30 not to intervene in the case, which upheld a British Supreme Court decision that the hospital could discontinue life support to Charlie and he could not be transferred.

Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in NY, spent around four and a half hours inside the hospital on Monday.

High Court judge Nicholas Francis said he was "open-minded about the evidence" to come.