US Doctor Allowed To Examine Charlie Gard In Ongoing Case

Posted July 16, 2017

An American doctor will be permitted to assess Charlie Gard, the terminally-ill British baby whose parents seek to transport him to the United States for treatment.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard have achieved more for their critically ill son in the past week than they have during the past five months of their legal battle with Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in. "The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the story of Charlie Gard and expresses his own closeness to his parents", read a July 2 statement issued by Vatican spokesman Greg Burke.

Both Pope Francis and Donald Trump spoke out on the Gards' behalf after the the case garnered global attention several weeks ago.

Hirano, a doctor at Columbia University Medical Center in NY, has developed an experimental therapy that may be able to slow the progress of the condition.

Michio Hirano, MD, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center, will travel to London to examine the 11-month-old Charlie, who has mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, a progressive and fatal disease that causes muscle weakness and loss of motor skills. His doctors have said he will die from his illness.

He testified on Thursday that Charlie has a 10 percent chance of improving with experimental treatment available in the U.S. The judge ruled he could meet with Charlie's doctor's to discuss his case. Little Charlie Gard's parents deserve the right to bring him to the USA to try to find treatment for him - that shouldn't even have to be discussed!

The Charlie Gard case has become a touchstone for those on the religious right in both Britain and the USA, who are furious because they consider Charlie's right-to-life sacrosanct, and are also upset at the perceived interference of the state in parental choice.

Hirano will be able to make the case for his treatment to hospital specialists next week; however, The Telegraph reported that the British specialists believe that the treatment is merely experimental, and will not help.

"If there is important new evidence that suggests my decision should be changed then I will change it", Francis told the hearing at London's High Court.

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

The judge in the Charlie Gard case has ordered little boy's head to be measured to determine if there is any brain development. However, the hospital later agreed to consider new evidence involving Charlie's condition before taking him off the ventilator. Additionally, Hirano claimed his treatment could improve brain function a "small but significant" amount.

His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have raised more than $1.5 million to bring him to the USA for experimental treatment.

"We are delighted that Charlie's mother, Connie, will be present at the meeting that Prof Michio Hirano, the world's leading expert on Charlie's condition, will attend".