Charlie Gard: Hospital applies for fresh court hearing over ‘new information’ for treatment

Charlie Gard’s hospital has said it plans to return to the High Court for a fresh hearing over his future.

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), which has been treating the critically-ill baby, said it had applied to return to the court “in light of claims of new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition”.

Charlie, who is 11 months old, has a rare, degenerative genetic condition which affects the cells responsible for energy production and respiration and leaves him unable to move or breathe without a ventilator.

Doctors previously won an order to say his life support should be turned off in a case that went all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.

That has been opposed by Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, who want to take him to the US for experimental treatment that they believe could save their son.

A statement from GOSH said it was right for a judge to examine alleged new evidence put forward about the course of treatment that the baby’s parents want to follow.

Two international hospitals and their researchers have communicated to us as late as the last 24 hours that they have fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment.

And we believe, in common with Charlie’s parents, it is right to explore this evidence.

– Great Ormond Street Hospital

The statement stressed that doctors treating Charlie still believe it is in his best interests for further care to be withdrawn and that more treatment could cause him unnecessary suffering.

It added that they are bound by the current court ruling, which also bans them from transferring Charlie out of the hospital.

Only a judge can overturn the previous decision that Charlie should be moved to palliative care and allowed to die.

Charlie’s case will be heard by Mr Justice Francis on Monday at 2pm, according to a High Court listing.

The latest development came after a US hospital has offered to ship an experimental drug to the UK to help treat the 11-month-old and his mother has said new research suggests it would work for Charlie.

Ms Yates told Good Morning Britain that five doctors in Europe and the US who specialise in Charlie’s condition now agree that the experimental treatment could work.

She said there were 18 people on the medication and some had experienced “amazing responses, very quickly”.

“There is potential for him to be a completely normal boy, but you don’t know until you try,” Ms Yates said.

“There’s around a 10% chance of this working for Charlie. I think that’s a good enough chance to take.”

Both Donald Trump and The Vatican have also attempted to intervene by offering to help the family seek further treatment.

Hospital bosses had agreed to meet Charlie’s parents to discuss the new claims and said it would be for a judge to make a final decision.

However, they still remain convinced there was no realistic prospect of successful treatment for his “catastrophic and irreversible brain damage”.

“This is not an issue about money or resources, but absolutely about what is right for Charlie,” the hospital said in its statement.

“Our view has not changed. We believe it is right to seek the High Court’s view in light of the claimed new evidence.

“Our priority has always been, and will always be, the best interests of Charlie Gard.”

In his April ruling, Mr Justice Francis said the couple had, understandably, grasped at the possibility that the therapy might be “pioneering treatment”.

But he said it had never been tried on a patient with Charlie’s rare form of mitochondrial disease, there was “no evidence” it could help him, and testing it on him would be “unknown territory”.

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