United States doctor meets with specialists treating Charlie Gard

Amos Gonzales
July 17, 2017

Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in NY, is scheduled to examine Charlie for the first time before discussing his condition with Great Ormond Street doctors and other medical experts.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street argue life support should be withdrawn, saying that Charlie's condition - a form of mitochondrial disease which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage - would affect his quality of life.

Charlie Gard, the terminally ill baby suffering from a rare mitochondrial disease, is at the centre of a legal tussle. Hirano recently put the chances of Charlie improving under new experimental treatment at between 10% and 50%.

He further noted that the small number of people with Charlie's rare genetic condition, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, would make robust clinical trials hard.

The new High Court hearing was requested after the Vatican's children's hospital and the United States hospital said a new experimental protocol might work for Charlie, whose parents have been trying to secure a move to the US.

The hospital said it remained the unanimous view of its doctors that withdrawal of ventilation and palliative care were all the hospital could offer Charlie.

The judge ruled that Charlie's mother Connie, from Bedfont, west London, can be present for the examination.

Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have raised £1.3 million (US$ 1.7 million) to take the baby to the USA for nucleoside therapy.

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Last week, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) released a copy of its latest submission to the High Court.

In a statement, the London hospital said it was "right to try" the experimental treatment prepared for Charlie by "two global hospitals".

But the couple say there is new evidence and want Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of their case.

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".

The European Court of Human Rights also decided not to intervene in the case.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street say that the therapy is experimental and will not help Charlie.

He is due to travel to London on Tuesday to examine Charlie.

Other reports by BadHub

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