US Doctor Allowed To Examine Charlie Gard In Ongoing Case

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter
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A U.S. doctor offering to treat Charlie Gard will be allowed to examine the child and present evidence on his behalf, according to the judge presiding over the case.

Judge Francis asked Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University, who testified Thursday, if he would be willing to examine Gard.

Hirano claimed that he could treat Gard with at least a 10 percent chance of improving his condition, according to Lifesite News. Gard’s court appointed guardian, who represents a child’s interests instead of the child’s parents in the UK legal system, argued against allowing Gard to be treated. Francis, however, decided to consider the possibilities for Gard’s improvement.

“Ten days ago, virtually no one thought that Charlie Gard would live another day,” Rev. Patrick Mahoney said in a Thursday Facebook live video. “The court had set the date for the ventilator to be pulled off. Everything had been set, and God intervened. And we are seeing miracle after miracle in this case and, today, perhaps we saw one of the biggest.”

Hirano was previously referred to as Dr. I, according to Mahoney who told Lifesite News that those present at the court were initially told they were not permitted to reveal Hirano’s name.

The doctor will travel to the U.K. next week to examine Gard and present his evaluation of Gard’s prospects for improvement with treatment to the court.

Gard has a rare mitochondrial disease that causes muscle weakening and can cause gradual brain damage. UK courts and the European Court of Human Rights initially ruled against Gard’s parent’s wishes to take Gard to the U.S. for a treatment called nucleoside bypass therapy. The courts ordered that Gard received no further treatment and that his life support be shut off.

The UK High Court agreed to rehear Gard’s case when two international hospitals came forward with new evidence supporting the idea that nucleoside bypass therapy would not simply prolong Gard’s life, but actually help him.

The new trial opened to conflict Thursday morning, when Gard’s parents stormed out of the court two hours into the hearing.

The hearing continues throughout Friday.

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