Sunday 17 December 2017

US specialist to examine baby Charlie on Monday

Charlie Gard’s parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard outside court. Photo: Reuters
Charlie Gard’s parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard outside court. Photo: Reuters

Kim Ripoll London

A US specialist who has offered to treat Charlie Gard is due to examine the terminally ill baby next week, a judge has heard.

Michio Hirano is scheduled to visit Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on Monday and Tuesday and discuss the case with specialists treating Charlie, Mr Justice Francis was told.

It came after the UK High Court judge lifted an order which barred journalists from revealing the name of the American specialist.

Mr Justice Francis ruled that Dr Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, could be named in media reports.

Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, want the judge to rule that the 11-month-old, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial overseen by Dr Hirano in New York.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, say the therapy is experimental and will not help.

They say life support treatment should stop.

Mr Justice Francis had made an order barring journalists from naming Dr Hirano or saying where he was based early this year, shortly after litigation began.

Charlie's parents had said they were worried publicity might put pressure on Dr Hirano.

But journalists have argued naming Dr Hirano will be in the public interest - and he has now said he has no objection to being identified as the doctor involved in the case.

Irish Independent

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