Charlie Gard Court Saga Continues


An American specialist who has offered to treat Charlie Gard is due to examine the terminally-ill baby next week, a judge has heard.


Dr Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, is scheduled to visit Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on Monday and Tuesday and discuss the case with specialists treating Charlie, Mr Justice Francis was told.


Charlie’s parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates want the judge to rule the 11-month-old, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo an experimental treatment overseen by Dr Hirano in New York.


Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, say the therapy will not help.


Charlie's parents, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, have already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London. They have also failed to persuade the European Court of Human Rights to intervene.


The couple say there is new evidence and want Mr Justice Francis, who in April ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street and said Charlie should be removed from a ventilator and given paliative care, to carry out a fresh analysis of their case.


Mr Justice Francis is considering their claims at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.


Dr Hirano gave evidence, via a link from New York, on Thursday.


The judge said he wanted to hear what Dr Hirano believes has changed since he gave his ruling in April.


Dr Hirano said he has clinical data which was not available in April and he still believes the therapy is “worth trying”.


The doctor estimated a 10 per cent chance of improvement in muscle strength and a “small but significant” improvement in brain function.

The Daily Telegraph. July 14.

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