Two worldwide experts to attend meeting in Charlie Gard case

Posted July 20, 2017

The American doctor overseeing the experimental treatment that might help Gard was in London yesterday to try to persuade the British doctors treating him that there's a chance the drug might help.

Republican Jeff Fortenberry, who represents Nebraska, has tweeted a message saying: "We just passed amendment that grants permanent resident status to #CharlieGard and family so Charlie can get the medical treatment he needs".

Gard and his family have been at the center of an global debate over whether governments can make life and death decisions for individuals. Under the arrangement, Hirano and another doctor, whose name is protected by court order, will be allowed to examine Charlie and have access to his medical records and hospital facilities.

Mr Justice Francis, the High Court judge who has been hearing appeals by Chariie's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard for him to be offered an experimental therapy by a USA doctor, has to be informed of any plans to move him from GOSH.

'As Charlie's loving parents, we are doing the right thing for our son in exploring all treatment options'.

His mum Connie Yates says he responds to them, watches videos and enjoys tickles.

Hirano is developing the experimental therapy, which has been used on at least one American patient with a similar but less severe mitochondrial disease. A judge is now reviewing Charlie's case, and is expected to give his ruling next week. The 11-month-old British infant suffers from a mitochondrial disease and brain damage.

The American neuroscientist Dr. Michio Hirano could not persuade the United Kingdom doctors that something could be done to prolong or save Charlie's life and flew back to NY last night.

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Great Ormond Street Hospital specialists say that treatment will not work, and the little boy's life support should be turned off.

Mr Justice Francis has considered the couple's latest claims at preliminary hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London over the last few days. On July 14, England's High Court ruled he could be examined by Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University.

But Dr Hirano, 55, believes his experimental theory could give Charlie "11% to 56% chance of clinically meaningful improvement".

"If he's still fighting, we're still fighting", Charlie's mom, Connie Yates, declared.

After attending a conference in the Netherlands where he talked about Arturo's condition, Estopinan also recently met with Charlie and his parents in London.

Tensions also arose between GOSH doctors and Gard's parents over the size of the baby's head - an increase in brain size (which hospital measurements dispute but Yates insists her own measurements support) could indicate brain development.

Charlie's parents have been in a four-month legal battle over their rights as parents to determine the type of treatments their son can have. "They believe that only they can and should speak for Charlie and they have said many times that they feel they have been stripped of their rights as parents".