For ill U.K. baby, ev­i­dence clock ticks

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

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

The de­ci­sion came af­ter an emo­tion­ally charged hear­ing, dur­ing which Gard’s mother wept in frus­tra­tion and his fa­ther yelled at a lawyer.

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.

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.”

Char­lie suf­fers from mi­to­chon­drial de­ple­tion syn­drome, a rare ge­netic disease that has left him brain dam­aged and un­able to breathe un­aided. His par­ents want to take him abroad for ex­per­i­men­tal ther­apy, which they say of­fers their son a chance of im­prove­ment.

Bri­tish and European courts have sided with the hos­pi­tal’s de­ci­sion that the 11-month-old’s life sup­port should end, say­ing ther­apy would not help and would cause more suf­fer­ing.

AP/NICK ANSELL

The par­ents of sick child Char­lie Gard, Con­nie Yates and Chris Gard, ar­rive Mon­day at the High Court in Lon­don for a hear­ing in their lat­est bid to see the baby treated with ex­per­i­men­tal ther­apy.

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