Terminally ill United Kingdom baby Charlie Gard has been fighting for his life, while his parents and supporters fight for their right to care for him, but those who oppose him receiving treatment have been adamant.
Now that an American neurosurgeon who examined the boy is siding with the parents, and a hearing on the case turned bitterly emotional Friday, the dispute is getting even hotter.
Dr. Michio Hirano examined Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, and determined that experimental therapy could possibly save the baby’s life.
However, British doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital were “unconvinced” by Hirano’s assessment and disagreed with his finding that Charlie’s brain damage was not irreversible, according to the U.K. Telegraph.
The hospital continued its argument that the infant should be allowed to “die with dignity,” the Telegraph reported.
Hirano and hospital officials spent five hours discussing the situation and their differing opinions on the child’s potential for life-saving treatment.
A source close to the parents said the family was “optimistic” following Hirano’s examination, according to Ave Maria Radio, a Catholic broadcasting outlet.
However, at a hearing on Friday, doctors unveiled a new set of brain scans for the little boy, that appeared to show his condition was even poorer than thought.
A lawyer for the hospital, Katie Gollop, broke out the new results during the hearing, before Charlie’s parents even had a chance to read them.
“Almost all the medical evidence in this case makes for sad reading,” Gollop said, according to Sky News.
Charlie’s parents did not react well to the news.
“We haven’t even read it,” Yates said before she stormed from the courtroom, according to Sky News.
The boy’s father, Chris Gard, looked directly at the lawyer and said “evil,” before he too left the room, Sky News reported.
A judge’s ruling in the case is due July 25.
The British doctors have been adamant, standing by a statement issued July 13 that amounts to a death sentence for the 11-month-old boy:
“It has been and remains the unanimous view of all those caring for Charlie at Great Ormond Street that withdrawal of ventilation and palliative care are all that the hospital can offer him consistent with his welfare,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has offered to help Charlie, and a U.S. hospital also offered to provide treatment at no charge.
This baby has a right to his life, which includes allowing him to receive the best medical treatment available — if that what his parents desire. By standing in the way of that, these hospital and court officials have shown just how little they value life and family autonomy.
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