Update: Charlie Gard To Be Evaluated By US Doctor

July 15, 2017
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11- month-old Charlie Gard, who has a rare, terminal medical condition has been the center of an ongoing legal battle.

He will now be evaluated by a doctor from the United States.

He will be examined early next week, in London, by Dr. Michio Hirano, a neurologist From New York’s Columbia University Medical Center. Hirano is developing an experimental therapy which has been used on at least one American patient with a similar but less severe mitochondrial disease. The Doctor specializes in myopathies and other neuromuscular diseases.

Charlie was born with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which is a progressive disease that causes muscle weakness and loss of motor skills, leaving those who have it unable to stand, walk, eat, talk and eventually breathe. His Doctors say that Charlie will die from his illness doctors have said.

His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, raised money in hopes of bringing their son to the US for an experimental treatment, however, doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie has been since October, argued in court that it was not in their patient’s best interest.

The European Court of Human Rights decided on June 30 not to intervene in the case, which upheld a British Supreme Court decision that the hospital could stop life support to Charlie and he could not be transferred.

The case went to the UK High Court this week after the hospital requested a new hearing to consider “new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition.”

On Thursday, Hirano told Justice Nicholas Francis that the child’s MRI scan did not necessarily indicate structural damage to the brain. He said that there was an “11% to 56% chance of clinically meaningful improvement” in muscular function with the proposed treatment.

Hirano also said that keeping Charlie on a ventilator would not cause him harm because he did not seem to be in any significant pain.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital told the court their position remains the same and that every medical treatment option had already been explored, and that any experimental treatment would be unjustified.

Hirano will also meet with doctors and others, on Monday and Tuesday, who have been caring for him.

After a lot of debate in court on Friday over whether Charlie’s parents will be present for this, the Judge decided that Yates will be allowed to attend.

An individual (who will remain anonymous by court order) will chair the meetings.

Francis may then consider information from Hirano to inform a decision from the court, which he can hopefully render by July 25.

 

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