Baby Charlie's parents head back to court in UK

2017-07-24 15:52
Charlie Gard’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard. (Nick Ansell, PA via AP)

Charlie Gard’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard. (Nick Ansell, PA via AP)

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London - The parents of a critically ill infant return to court in London on Monday for the latest stage in their effort to seek permission to take the child to the United States for medical treatment.

Britain's High Court is considering new evidence in the case of Charlie Gard. The 11-month-old has a rare genetic condition, and his parents want him to receive an experimental treatment. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital say that the treatment won't help and could cause the child pain.

They want to switch off his life support and allow him to die peacefully.

The case won international attention after Charlie's parents received support from Pope Francis, US President Donald Trump and some members of the US Congress.

Judge Nicholas Francis scheduled a two-day hearing to consider fresh evidence after Dr Michio Hirano, an American neurology expert from Columbia Medical Centre in New York, came to London to examine the child.

Last week, Great Ormond Street told the parents that a report on the latest scan of Charlie's brain made for "sad reading". The hospital's lawyer, Katie Gollop, broke the news to the child's parents at a pre-court hearing on Friday in London.

Charlie's father, Chris Gard, yelled "Evil!" at Gollop as Charlie's mother, Connie Yates, began to cry. The parents said it was the first time they had been told about the latest results in the crucial test of brain function.

The hospital believes Charlie has suffered irreversible brain damage - a view his parents have challenged.

Charlie suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome and cannot breathe unaided. His parents believe the treatment, which has never been tested on a human with Charlie's exact condition, could restore his muscular and brain functions.

Previous courts, including the European Court of Human Rights, have sided with the hospital.

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