The latest brain scan of critically ill baby Charlie Gard makes for “sad reading,” according to a hospital lawyer. Great Ormond Street Hospital lawyer Katie Gollop broke the news to Charlie’s British parents at a pre-court hearing Friday in London.
The news caused shock and horror on Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates. The father yelled “Evil!” at Gollop while Yates burst out in tears.
At the pre-court hearing, the parents said it was the first time hearing about the latest brain scan results. Gard and Yates have been entwined in a legal battle for weeks to decide the fate of their son.
The results point towards a bleak future for Charlie
As Yates started crying during the hearing, Gollop told a judge analyzing the latest developments in a legal battle over baby Charlie’s treatment that specialists believe the new results don’t look good for the baby.
Yates told the judge that she and her husband hadn’t seen the report. Gollop apologized for the news.
“Almost all the medical evidence in this case makes for sad reading,” Gollop told the judge, according to Mirror UK. “I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to cause distress.”
Charlie underwent brain scans to determine if his brain has suffered irreversible brain damage. Great Ormond Street Hospital officials believe that 11-month-old Charlie has suffered irreversible brain damage that no treatment can repair. However, his parents disagree, which has led to a legal battle over Charlie’s life.
Hospital officials have been saying for weeks that Charlie Gard is beyond recovery from a rare genetic disease known a mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. The condition leads to organ dysfunction and weakened muscles. Most patients diagnosed with the disease have poor prognoses. Charlie, for instance, is connected on life support, as he’s unable to breathe unaided.
The pre-court hearing on Friday was the latest development in Gard and Yates’ legal battle to transfer Charlie to the United States for an experimental treatment.
Judge will rule on Tuesday whether Charlie gets the experimental treatment or not
Gard and Yates want to take their baby to New York, where they believe an experimental treatment could save him. It has never been tested on a human with Charlie’s condition, but his parents think it could restore his muscular and brain functions.
However, specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital say that such therapy is experimental and will not help the baby. Charlie’s parents have already lost the legal battles in the High Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court in London.
The European Court of Human Rights supports the London hospital where Charlie is interned. In June, the European Court of Human Rights determined that the hospital can discontinue life support for the baby, who has been in the intensive care unit since October.
During the hearing Charlie’s parents asked Judge Nicholas Francis, who in April ruled in favor of the hospital and said the baby should be allowed to die with dignity, to start a new analysis of their case.
The couple explained their plans to bring to court medical experts who also believe Charlie should be given the experimental treatment and noted that Yates could also take the witness stand. While the judge noted they covered much of that evidence in the last hearing, he didn’t deny the parents’ wish to be heard.
“We don’t want to go over old ground but I certainly wouldn’t want any sense of procedure to get in the way of Miss Yates, or Mr. Gard, giving evidence if they feel there is something to be said,” noted the judge during the hearing.
Judge Francis urged the lawyers to keep their cases as short as possible so he can make a final ruling on Tuesday.
“This is not about my time or the lawyers’ time. It is about getting the decision made,” he said. “Every second [Charlie] is either suffering or is a second he could be receiving treatment.”
Experimental treatment neurologist will testify next week
As the case develops, people have rallied for Charlie’s parents worldwide, as most believe they should be the ones who decide to continue or not their baby’s life.
Pope Francis called earlier this month for Charlie’s parents to accompany and treat him until the end. A Vatican children’s hospital also offered to care for the baby, although the London hospital declined. President Trump and some members of Congress have also shared their concern for the case.
This week Charlie’s parents met with American specialist Dr. Michio Hirano, a neurology expert from Columbia Medical Center in New York who designed the experimental treatment. Hirano will testify at Monday’s hearing.
Source: ABC News