Charlie Gard hospital reports threats
LONDON — Protesters who want critically ill British baby Charlie Gard to receive an experimental treatment are planning a rally and prayer vigil and hospital officials say they have received death threats in the case.
Activists supporting Gard’s parents will gather outside the High Court in London, where legal proceedings will resume on Monday with new medical evidence expected.
Gard’s parents are fighting to get more medical care but Great Ormond Street Hospital officials say the experimental treatment won’t work and will just cause the 11-month-old more suffering. They argue his life support should be turned off.
Hospital Chairwoman Mary MacLeod said doctors and nurses have been subjected to abuse.
“Staff have received abuse both in the street and online,” she said. “Thousands of abusive messages have been sent to doctors and nurses whose life’s work is to care for sick children. Many of these messages are menacing, including death threats.”
At a pre-court hearing on Friday, Charlie’s parents were told by a hospital lawyer that the results of their son’s latest brain scans make for “sad reading”.
The hospital believes that 11-month-old Charlie has suf- fered irreversible brain damage that treatment cannot repair. His parents disagree. Earlier this week, Charlie underwent brain scans in an attempt to determine whether his brain damage is irreversible.
The results of the scans were not made public.
The pre-hearing on Friday was the latest step in his parents’ long legal battle to give Charlie, who suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome and cannot breathe unaided, experimental treatment in the United States.
They believe the treatment, which has never been tested on a human with Charlie’s exact condition, could restore his muscular and brain functions.
It’s not clear how much longer Charlie can live without the treatment.
Previous courts, including the European Court of Human Rights, have sided with the hospital, where Charlie is being treated.
Staff have received abuse both in the street and online. Many of these messages are menacing, including death threats.” Mary MacLeod, Chairwoman of Great Ormond Street Hospital