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Baby Charlie Gard gets new court hearing

A British court is giving the parents of 11-month-old Charlie Gard a chance to present fresh evidence that their terminally ill son should receive experimental treatment.

Judge Nicholas Francis gave the couple until Wednesday afternoon to present the evidence and set a new hearing for Thursday in a case that has drawn international attention.

But the judge insisted there had to be "new and powerful" evidence to reverse earlier rulings that barred Charlie from traveling abroad for treatment and authorized London's Great Ormond Street Hospital to take him off life support.

"There is not a person alive who would not want to save Charlie," Francis said. "If there is new evidence I will hear it."


The child's parents welcomed the new hearing.


"For these very rare diseases there are experts out there, I hope they just listen to them and give us a chance.

"There are now seven doctors supporting us who specialise in Charlie's condition.

"I hope they can see there is more of a chance than previously thought and hope they trust us as parents and trust the other doctors," Connie Yates, Charlie's mother, said.

Yates said there are doctors in the US, Spain, Italy and England who are supporting them and said if the medication works Charlie "could potentially be a normal boy again".

"There are 18 children currently on this treatment - one of them wasn't able to do anything and now she's riding a bike. She was on a ventilator as well before and she's not on it anymore.

"This could be a miracle for Charlie.

"We're the ones who sit with him 24 hours a day - we couldn't do it if he was suffering or in pain... we just want to be able to give him a chance and leave no stone unturned.

"We're not saying Great Ormond Street is a bad hospital but they don't have a specialist for his particular condition.

"We don't see what's dignified about him dying - we think it's dignified that he has a chance at life and if it doesn't work then we'll let him go," Yates said.

Specialists at GOSH, where baby Charlie remains on life support, previously argued nucleoside therapy would not improve his quality of life.

But on Friday the hospital applied to the High Court for the fresh hearing "in light of claims of new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition".


Here is a brief timeline of the Charlie Gard case:

March 3, 2017: Justice Francis starts to analyse the case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London

April 11: Justice Francis says doctors can stop providing life-support treatment

May 3: Charlie's parents ask Court of Appeal judges to consider the case

May 23: Three Court of Appeal judges analyse the case

May 25: Court of Appeal judges dismiss the couple's appeal

June 8: Charlie's parents lose fight in the Supreme Court

June 20: Judges in the European Court of Human Rights start to analyse the case after lawyers representing Charlie's parents make written submissions

June 27: Judges in the European Court of Human Rights refuse to intervene

July 3: The Pope and US President Donald Trump offer to intervene

July 7: Great Ormond Street Hospital applies for a fresh hearing at the High Court

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