Health Care

Gard spokesperson: Baby Charlie is effectively 'a prisoner of the state'

Gard spokesperson: Baby Charlie is effectively 'a prisoner of the state'

They boy's parents are fighting an emotional legal battle with Britain's most famous children's hospital over whether trying an experimental treatment is in Charlie's best interest.

The American doctor behind an experimental treatment in the USA is to examine Charlie Gard on Monday and Tuesday.

The New York-based neurologist claims there is a 10 per cent chance that his experimental treatment could improve muscle strength and bring a "small but significant" improvement to Charlie's brain function.

Professor Michio Hirano, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Centre in NY, has collaborated with institutions including Cambridge University, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

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

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They erupted with fury as Great Ormond Street doctors tried to ban them from key meetings discussing the ill tot's health and care.

A judge ruled that Charlie's mother Connie Yates could be present for the gathering.

United Kingdom doctors have argued that he should be allowed to die but his parent's Chris Gard and Connie Yates see the specialist as the last hope for Charlie.

In a statement published on its website, the hospital said: "At the heart of Charlie's parlous and awful condition is the question, how can it be in his best interests for his life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn?"

The couple, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, want Mr Justice Francis to re-open the case in light of the new evidence.

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Rare-disease specialists at Bambino Gesu' are working with other worldwide experts to map out an experimental treatment protocol for Charlie, hospital chief Mariella Enoc said.

But last week, the case returned to the High Court after the hospital asked for a new hearing to consider new evidence from Hirano.

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

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

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

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