On Friday, July 21, 2017, a pre-court hearing was held regarding the latest brain scan of Charlie Gard and whether or not his parents or the hospital will have the final say in what happens to the 11-month-old boy. Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates left the hearing abruptly after Katie Gallop, the lawyer for Great Ormond Street Hospital in London referred to Charlie’s latest test results as a “sad reading.”
CNN has reported that in response, Gard called out, “evil” and proceeded to say, “I’m not f****** listening to this biased sh** anymore.”
Gard and a crying Yates left the courtroom with Yates saying that they haven’t even been able to read Charlie’s latest scan results yet.
Charlie has been in the hospital since becoming ill in October 2016. Doctors discovered he has a rare form of mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome and they argue that Charlie should be removed from life support. Gard and Yates, however, disagree and want to take their son to the United States for an experimental treatment that an expert believes has an 11 to 56 percent chance of helping Charlie. The couple raised over £1,340,940 to bring Charlie to the United States.
The expert, Dr. Michio Hirano, is a neurologist from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City who agreed to treat Charlie months ago. He recently flew to London with approval from GOSH to evaluate Charlie. Hirano testified at a different hearing after seeing Charlie that his MRI scan did not necessarily show structural brain damage and that the experimental treatment has an “11 percent to 56 percent chance of clinically meaningful improvement” in Charlie’s muscular function. The treatment has helped other children with similar diagnoses.
Both Pope Francis and President Donald Trump have shown support for Charlie, and the United States even granted the family US residency in an attempt to make it easier for them to bring Charlie to the US.
After Charlie’s life support was set to be turned off on June 30, 2017, new unpublished research was sent to GOSH from Bambino Gesù paediatric hospital’s neurosciences department showing that the experimental treatment could help Charlie and therefore, he should be allowed to receive it.
This pre-court hearing comes ahead of a hearing scheduled for July 25, 2017. Charlie’s parents have been battling the courts for months over the life of their son. The courts have sided with the hospital each time leaving the world to question who has the control over the lives of children – the parents or the doctors? During the hearing on the 25th, Charlie’s parents will be able to present new evidence to the judge. ABC News reported:
The parents of critically ill baby Charlie Gard can present new evidence at upcoming hearings to determine his fate.
Judge Nicholas Francis, who has overseen the latest round of hearings in the case at London’s High Court, said Friday that parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates could present evidence in full-day hearings early next week.
Charlie’s parents say they know that Charlie could still die after the experimental treatment but they “strongly feel as his parents that Charlie should get a chance to try these medications. He literally has nothing to lose but potentially a healthier, happier life to gain.”
They say that even if Charlie dies, his participation in the experimental medication could help future children born with this condition.