Hospital to re-visit case of terminally ill 10-month-old baby Charlie Gard
The UK hospital treating terminally ill baby Charlie Gard will investigate a possible new treatment that could help the 10-month-old.
Charlie - who has garnered worldwide attention after Pope Francis and US President Donald Trump commented on the case - has a rare genetic condition affecting his mitochondria.
Doctors argued life support should be switched off because there is no chance of his condition improving.
However, in a new statement from the Great Ormond Street Hospital has confirmed it will re-investigate Charlie's case after "new evidence" emerged.
"We have just met with Charlie's parents to inform them of this decision and will continue to keep them fully appraised of the situation," the statement reads.
"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."
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An American hospital has since offered to bring an experimental drug to the UK to treat Charlie.
Researchers at the Vatican children's hospital have sent a letter urging Charlie's doctors to reconsider the experimental treatment after there had been "dramatic clinical improvements" in people and mice with a condition similar to Charlie's.
Leaving Great Ormond Street this week, Charlie's mother, Connie Yates, said: "We're hopeful and confident that Charlie may get a chance now."
Charlie has mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage and is only the 16th person in the world to have been diagnosed with the condition.
The hospital was due to withdraw life support for Charlie.
They argued that Charlie's condition is "exceptionally rare".
"It will be for the High Court to make its judgment on the facts," the hospital said.
"Charlie’s condition is exceptionally rare, with catastrophic and irreversible brain damage.
"Our doctors have explored every medical treatment, including experimental nucleoside therapies. Independent medical experts agreed with our clinical team that this treatment would be unjustified."
"Not only that, but they said it would be futile and would prolong Charlie’s suffering. This is not an issue about money or resources, but absolutely about what is right for Charlie," the statement reads.
"Our view has not changed. We believe it is right to seek the High Court’s view in light of the claimed new evidence.
Charlies mother told UK TV that her son was "not in pain and suffering".
"I promise everyone I would not sit there and watch my son in pain and suffering, I couldn't do it."
Charlie's parents had been fighting to take him to the US for treatment but the courts ruled that keeping him on life support would only prolong his suffering.
The courts also ruled that there was no hope of him recovering from the disease.
Newsbreak - July 8