The U.K. High Court will rehear the case of Charlie Gard Thursday in light of new evidence produced by two international hospitals for Gard’s treatment.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, the parents of 11-month-old Charlie Gard, have until Wednesday to present new evidence before the court concerning nucleoside bypass therapy and the benefits it would give Gard, according to The Telegraph. The Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Gard is currently provided life-support, appealed to the court for a new trial June 7 after two international hospitals came forward with evidence. Justice Francis, who presided over Gard’s initial case and ruled that he should be denied treatment and taken off life support, said that he would only overturn his initial ruling if the evidence for nucleoside bypass treatment is “new and powerful.”
“If you bring new evidence to me and I consider that evidence changes the situation … I will be the first to welcome that outcome,” Francis told Gard’s lawyers.
Nucleoside bypass therapy is administered via oral medication and has saved the lives of two children who suffer from a similar form of the mitochondrial disease that Gard is fighting. Maxwell Smith, who lives in the U.K. with his parents, was diagnosed with mitochondrial depletion when he was only several months old, but at the age of five, he is alive thanks to nucleoside bypass treatment. Arturo Estopiñan, who lives with his parents in Baltimore, Md., was diagnosed at just over a year old and has lived to the age of six, also thanks to the treatment currently denied to Gard.
Yates and Gard addressed supporters and the press outside the hospital Sunday alongside Rev. Patrick Mahoney, and said they would continue to fight for the life of their child.
“He’s our son, he’s our flesh and blood,” Yates said. “We feel that it should be our right as parents to decide to give him a chance at life.”
Gard’s lawyers echoed Yates’ claim when they appealed before Francis for a new trial and argued that a different judge should preside over Thursday’s trial. Francis granted the upcoming trial, but refused to step down as presiding judge, according to The Telegraph.
“I did my job,” Francis said. “I will continue to do my job.”
Many in the international community disagree with Francis, including President Donald Trump, Pope Francis, a host of pro-life organizations, and Gard’s supporters across the world, in light of Francis’ previous decision to deny Gard treatment based on his judgement that Gard’s life was not worth living.
“If we won the court case and we got to America, and then within the first week of treatment he started suffering and he was in pain, we would let him go,” Gard’s father said. “This isn’t about us. This is about Charlie and giving him the chance he needs.”
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