Sunday 17 December 2017

Hospital seeks new court hearing on Charlie Gard case 'in light of claims of new evidence about potential treatment'

Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Gard. Picture: PA
Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Gard. Picture: PA

Scott D'Arcy and Sam Blewett

Great Ormond Street Hospital has said it has applied to the High Court for a fresh hearing in the case of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard "in light of claims of new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition".

A GOSH spokesman said "we believe, in common with Charlie's parents, it is right to explore this evidence".

Charlie inherited the faulty RRM2B gene from his parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard, affecting the cells responsible for energy production and respiration and leaving him unable to move or breathe without a ventilator.

The couple, both in their 30s and from Bedfont, west London, want to take him to a hospital in the US but lost a lengthy legal battle after judges ruled in favour of doctors at GOSH, who argued the treatment would not improve the 11-month-old's quality of life.

GOSH, who have told Charlie's parents of the decision, said it was taken after two international hospitals and their researchers contacted them "as late as the last 24 hours" to say they have "fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment".

Under a High Court ruling, GOSH is forbidden from allowing Charlie to be transferred for nucleoside therapy anywhere.

It comes as researchers at the Vatican children's hospital implored Charlie's doctors to reconsider allowing an experimental treatment to be used, citing "new information".

Clinicians from the Bambino Gesu paediatric hospital's neurosciences department said tests in mice and patients with a similar, but not the same, genetic condition had shown "dramatic clinical improvements".

A spokesman for the Rome-based institution said the letter, which was posted on the website hours after the boy's parents met GOSH medics, had been sent by the hospital.

Press Association

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