Gard spokesperson: Baby Charlie is effectively 'a prisoner of the state'

Brunilde Fioravanti
Luglio 17, 2017

The Telegraph reported that Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Center in NY, is scheduled to visit Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on Monday and Tuesday to examine Charlie, who is suffering from a rare genetic condition and is believed to have brain damage.

An American doctor who specializes in conditions such as that affecting Charlie Gard will travel to Britain next week to assess the critically ill baby.

Alastair Sutcliffe, who is the professor of paediatrics, said that the 11-month-old's severe mitochondrial disease is "untreatable" and that gene therapy "is in its infancy".

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital argue that a new treatment won't help and could make the child suffer.

A judge overseeing the latest stage of litigation has agreed that Ms Yates can be present when experts meet to discuss Charlie's condition.

His anguished parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, are desperate for the trial to go ahead and have raised funds to bring him to the US.

Great Ormond Street Hospital requested a new hearing after the New York-based neurologist claimed his treatment could now have a better chance of working.

Alasdair Seton-Marsden, who represents Charlie Gard's family to the press, complained that if they were rich instead of ordinary people their child would be free to receive treatment in the US.

Hirano, who has been providing evidence to the High Court via video link, suggested that now, there is clinical data that were not available in April, and he thought the therapy was "worth trying". He said there was an "11% to 56% chance of clinically meaningful improvement" in muscular function with the proposed treatment.

The couple has already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London, and they have failed to persuade the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in their case.

But judges in several courts - most recently the European Court of Human Rights - told his parents that taking Charlie overseas was not in his best interests.

More are scheduled for later this month following this week's gathering of medical experts.

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