Published: Wed, July 26, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Vatican medics: Experimental therapy could have been chance to help Charlie Gard

Vatican medics: Experimental therapy could have been chance to help Charlie Gard

A High Court hearing in London ended for the day Tuesday without resolving the question of where critically ill baby Charlie Gard will spend his final hours.

Gard's parents are now seeking court permission to bring him home from the hospital to die peacefully.

The family attorney, Grant Armstrong, told a judge that parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates have held discussions with Great Ormond Street Hospital about sending Charlie home, but that there were obstacles.

Mr Justice Francis said GOSH believes the ventilator keeping Charlie alive will not fit through the front door of the property where his parents want to take him.

Staff at Great Ormond Street, a hospital so revered in Britain that it was featured in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, have received death threats and abuse.

Throughout this case, the judge has made it clear that he can only change the decision that he made on 11 April on the basis of compelling new evidence.

There are 51 different specialties at the hospital, which treat some of the UK's sickest children.

On June 30, Pope Francis urged GOSH to respect the wishes of Charlie's parents, tweeting that "to defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all", the Pope tweeted.

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"The care plan must be safe, it must spare Charlie all pain and it must protect his dignity", the hospital's lawyers wrote in a document presented to the court.

The hospital's lawyers said bosses wanted to fulfil Charlie's parents" "last desire', but they indicated that providing intensive care to Charlie outside a hospital setting was not simple. The parents appealed a High Court decision, and their appeal to the U.K.'s Supreme Court was rejected.

Judge Nicholas Francis scheduled a two-day hearing to consider fresh evidence after Dr. Michio Hirano, an American neurology expert from Columbia Medical Center in NY, came to London to examine the child.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street said the therapy would not help.

Why did Charlie's parents seek legal intervention?

Bambino Gesu director Mariella Enoc shared that view, saying at a news conference Tuesday that experimental therapy "could have been an opportunity" to help Charlie, but it was now too late to start care.

A British law professor argued in the Guardian on Monday that parents ultimately have no rights when it comes to raising their children.

The judge said transferring Charlie to a hospice for his last moments - a move supported by the hospital - appeared the most realistic option.

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