UK court hear­ing be­gins for ter­mi­nally ill baby

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

LON­DON: A Bri­tish court yes­ter­day be­gan re-ex­am­in­ing the case of a ter­mi­nally ill baby whose life sup­port is due to be with­drawn at a Lon­don hos­pi­tal, af­ter Pope Fran­cis and US Don­ald Trump in­ter­vened in the case. Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal last week said it had re­ceived “claims of new ev­i­dence” that 11-mon­thold Char­lie Gard could be treated for his disease and has asked a court to rule on how to pro­ceed. Gard’s par­ents, who submitted a pe­ti­tion of over 350,000 sig­na­tures de­mand­ing that they be al­lowed to take him to the United States for treat­ment, at­tended the hear­ing at the High Court in Lon­don.

Pope Fran­cis last week ex­pressed his sup­port for the baby’s par­ents and said he hoped doc­tors would al­low them to “care for their child un­til the end”. Bam­bino Gesu, a Vat­i­can-run hos­pi­tal in Rome, has since of­fered to treat Gard and sent med­i­cal ad­vice sug­gest­ing that treat­ment could be pos­si­ble. Trump also waded into the de­bate last week, tweet­ing that the United States “would be de­lighted” to help. A US doc­tor has also pro­posed treat­ment for Gard. The Bri­tish hos­pi­tal on Fri­day said it stood by its opin­ion that Gard’s rare form of mi­to­chon­drial disease, which causes pro­gres­sive mus­cle weak­ness in key or­gans such as the heart, was not treat­able.

Doc­tors there be­lieve Gard’s brain dam­age is “se­vere and ir­re­versible” and have said the baby may be suf­fer­ing, in con­tra­dic­tion to the par­ents’ views. But doc­tors said it was “right to ex­plore” any new ev­i­dence and said they were seek­ing the court’s view. Gard’s par­ents have lost a se­ries of ap­peals in Bri­tish courts and the European Court of Hu­man Rights in Stras­bourg and had no fur­ther le­gal re­course. “He’s our son, he’s our flesh and blood. We feel that it should be our right as par­ents to de­cide to give him a chance,” his mother Con­nie Yates said on Sun­day. “The whole world knows about us and about Char­lie and our fight... Un­til you’re in this sit­u­a­tion, you don’t un­der­stand the power of hope,” she said. —AFP

LON­DON: Sup­port­ers of Char­lie Gard hold up plac­ards out­side the High Court in cen­tral Lon­don yes­ter­day. —AFP

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