Charlie Gard Case Back in Court; May be Given a Second Chance
By now, most of us have heard about the case of Charlie Gard, the 11month-old baby boy in London, who courts ruled should be removed from life support against his parents’ wishes.
Background and Charlie Gard's legal battle:
Charlie Gard was diagnosed with Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome--which has left him unable to see, breathe, or move on his own--when he was just one month-old. Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Constance Yates, have been fighting to bring their son to the United States for an experimental treatment called nucleoside bypass therapy, which they believe could slow the progression of his disease, and even raised over £1.3 million on GoFundMe, but recently lost a battle in the European high court to gain the right to do so. The High Court in England ruled that Great Ormond Street Hospital—where he has been receiving treatment—had the right to remove life support and allow him to die. The hospital originally planned to remove support on June 30, 2017, but after public outcry, made the decision to suspend that action for a time.
As Charlie’s plight became known around the world, he received offers to help even from Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump. Several hospitals in the United States, as well as the Hospital Bambino Gesu near the Vatican have offered to treat Charlie free of charge, should his legal battles be won.
What's happened now: Charlie Gard's Second Chance
On Sunday, July 9, Charlie’s parents delivered a petition to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London containing more than 350,000 signatures, calling for Charlie to be transferred.
“He's our son. He's our flesh and blood. We feel it should be our right as parents to decide to give him a chance at life,” Yates told reporters Sunday, according to BBC. “There is nothing to lose. He deserves a chance.”
Two U.S. Congressmen have promised to introduce a bill that would grant Charlie and his parents Lawful Permanent Resident status (aka “greencard holder”) if the courts reconsider and allow him to be transferred.
The Great Ormond Street Hospital has now asked England’s High Court to re-hear the case, after researchers at two other hospitals have come forward and shared evidence that the treatment may be beneficial to Charlie. A team of seven doctors from across the globe presented the hospital with new, unpublished data that suggested that the experimental treatment that Charlie’s parents are seeking for him would actually have a good chance of significantly improving his condition.
“This has a chance. It's got up to 10 percent chance of working for Charlie, and we feel that that's a chance worth taking,” Connie Yates said of the treatment. “We've been fighting for this medication since November. We're now in July.”
The High Court is expected to hear the case on Monday, July 10.