Consultants throw cold water on USA doctor's 'magic potion' for Charlie Gard

18 July, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • American doctor agrees to travel to the UK to examine Charlie Gard

An American doctor specialising in treating rare genetic conditions is meeting with other specialists treating Charlie Gard, assessing the critically ill 11-month-old for the first time. However, despite his credibility among British doctors and scientists, many NHS medical staff regard his intervention as unhelpful.

Charlie suffers from the rare incurable disease mitochondrial depletion syndrome.

Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in NY, is scheduled to examine Charlie for the first time before discussing his condition with Great Ormond Street doctors and other medical experts. Hirano has offered to treat him with an experimental gene therapy he believes has a 10%...

Charlie's parents are battling to take their child to the USA to receive nucleoside therapy, and Hirano's visit is part of their ongoing battle with Great Ormond Street hospital.

Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, want to send their son to the US for treatment of a rare genetic disorder that causes muscle deterioration and brain damage.

Hirano, who has been providing evidence to the High Court via video link, suggested that now, there is clinical data that were not available in April, and he thought the therapy was "worth trying".

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The High Court has previously ruled that Charlie's life support should be removed to enable him to die with dignity. The case attracted worldwide attention after Pope Francis and President Donald Trump weighed in.

On Thursday, Hirano told Justice Nicholas Francis that the baby's MRI scan did not necessarily indicate structural damage to the brain.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital have fought the parents' bid for treatment because they don't think it will help and may cause him pain.

The couple has already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London, and they have failed to persuade the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in their case.

Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in NY, spent around four and a half hours inside the hospital on Monday.

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