US doctor visits Great Ormond Street Hospital to examine Charlie Gard
Neurosurgeon from New York given honorary contract
The American doctor who has offered to treat Charlie Gard has attended a meeting at Great Ormond Street Hospital to help decide whether the 11-month-old will go to the US for treatment.
Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, spent around four and a half hours inside the London hospital yesterday.
Great Ormond Street said there was an honorary contract in place, meaning that for the duration of the visit Dr Hirano had the same rights as one of the hospital’s own clinicians.
He was also given full access to Charlie’s medical records, and hospital and clinical facilities, including diagnostic images. Dr Hirano was also given an opportunity to examine Charlie, according to the hospital.
Meetings between the American neurosurgeon and other medical experts are due to continue today.
A judge has previously ruled that Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, can be present for the meetings with Dr Hirano.
Charlie’s parents are fighting for the right to take the 11-month-old to the US for a therapy trial for his rare genetic condition, overseen by Dr Hirano.
Great Ormond Street Hospital specialists say that treatment will not work, and that the little boy’s life support should be turned off.
His parents have already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. They also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.
Mr Justice Francis has considered the couple’s latest claims at preliminary hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London over the last few days. He is due to stage further hearings later this month following this week’s specialist gathering.
Last week Great Ormond Street issued a statement which said it remained the unanimous view of its doctors that withdrawal of ventilation and palliative care were all the hospital could offer Charlie.
It said they were of the view that Charlie had “no quality of life and no real prospect of any quality of life”.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates with son Charlie.
Dr Hirano will help decide whether baby Charlie will go to the US for treatment.