United States doctor evaluates Charlie Gard's health


Charlie has infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.

Professor Michio Hirano, from Colombia University Medical Centre, will visit Great Ormond Street Hospital at the request of a judge to discuss the care of the 11month old boy.

The hospital was scheduled to take the child off of life support last month after his parents lost an appeal to take him to the United States for experimental treatment.

The American doctor behind an experimental treatment in the U.S. is to examine Charlie Gard on Monday and Tuesday.

Charlie made worldwide headlines earlier this month after President Donald Trump and Pope Francis commented on his case. Hirano has offered to treat him with an experimental gene therapy he believes has a 10%...

Hirano's research focuses on mitochondrial diseases and genetic myopathies and he has treated others with conditions similar to Charlie's.

Hirano, who testified via video-link on Thursday, said it was worth trying treatment that has recently emerged.

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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.

At the end of June, the European Court of Human Rights rejected an appeal by Charlie's parents that he be allowed to undergo the experimental treatment in the USA, following a similar ruling by the UK's supreme court.

While he has not seen the baby in person, he said that the tests on Charlie's brain show "disorganisation of brain activity and not major structural brain damage".

Hirano will assess the situation Monday and Tuesday.

His parents, from Bedfont, west London, have already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

The findings of the meeting will be reported to Judge Nicholas Francis who is expected to make a final decision on July 25.

The case returned to the High Court following reports of new data from healthcare specialists who suggested that Charlie's condition could improve with the treatment.