Saturday, 18 November, 2017

What comes next in the case of critically ill baby Charlie Gard?

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Edmund Wade | 16 July, 2017, 00:38

The doctor, whose name and institution can not be named because of a court order, told Britain's High Court that new clinical data has emerged about the effectiveness of the treatment proposed for 11-month-old Charlie Gard, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and is on life support.

Dr Michio Hirano will visit Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London on Monday to examine the 11-month-old toddler for the first time.

Dr Hirano told the court there was between an 11 and 56 per cent chance that the treatment could help Charlie's muscular strength and a "small but significant" chance it could improve brain function.

The UK High Court agreed to rehear Gard's case when two worldwide hospitals came forward with new evidence supporting the idea that nucleoside bypass therapy would not simply prolong Gard's life, but actually help him.

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Numerous attempts were made to get help to Charlie, including Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) introducing legislation to grant Charlie citizenship, and the Hospital of the Vatican - with support from President Donald Trump and the Pope - requesting the baby be taken to their facility.

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.

High Court Judge Nicholas Francis said Friday he is "open-minded about the evidence" to come, CNN reported, and that he would come to a final decision by July 25.

On Friday, the judge agreed to adjourn the case until later in the month and Dr. Hirano said he would travel to Britain to assess Charlie.

"In one respect, Charlie is immensely fortunate and that is in having parents of great fortitude and devotion".

However, British doctors would not allow the treatment to occur, nor would the British courts, or the European Court of Human Rights.

Charlie Gard has been cared for at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London.

Charlie Gard's parents have charged that they are being "held captive" by the NHS as a result of the British government's handling of their case. The hospital says there is no known cure and believes his life support systems should be turned off.

His parents appealed all the way to the Supreme Court but lost but on July 7 GOSH applied for a fresh hearing at the High Court.

Hirano claimed that he could treat Gard with at least a 10 percent chance of improving his condition, according to Lifesite News.

The parents' devastating and exhausting fight seemed headed in a downward spiral, as various courts consistently upheld the hospital officials' decision.

A team of seven global medical experts had alerted the hospital that fresh, unpublished data suggested that an experimental drug could improve Charlie's brain condition.

The judge in the Charlie Gard case has ordered little boy's head to be measured to determine if there is any brain development.

"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".


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