Charlie Gard’s parents have 11 days to breathe a little easier after a judge said he will delay his final decision on the infant’s life until July 25.
On Friday, High Court Judge Nicholas Francis said he will wait to hear what United States neurologist Dr. Michio Hirano has to say about Charlie’s condition before ruling, Fox News reports.
Hirano, a researcher from Columbia University who specializes in mitochondrial diseases, plans to travel to the UK next week to examine him. Judge Francis said he is “open-minded about the evidence” from Hirano’s examination.
Charlie is an 11-month-old British infant who suffers from a rare mitochondrial disease, and his parents want to take him to the United States for an experimental treatment. They raised more than $1 million for his care, and said they want to give Charlie every chance at life.
Hi parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, said they know the chance of the experimental treatment working is slim, but they want to try anyway for Charlie’s sake.
So far, the courts and hospital have refused to allow them to transfer their son to another hospital for the treatment. Two weeks ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the hospital can remove Charlie’s life support and allow him to die. However, the hospital later agreed to consider new evidence involving Charlie’s condition before taking him off the ventilator.
On Thursday, Hirano testified that Charlie’s chances of improving with the experimental treatment are about 10 percent.
Judge Francis initially ruled that Dr. Hirano’s name could not be made public for fear of public pressure, but the specialist said he doesn’t mind and believes it would be in the public’s interest to be named.
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The judge in the Charlie Gard case has ordered little boy’s head to be measured to determine if there is any brain development.
His request for the measurement came after Judge Francis sparked outrage from Charlie’s parents when he said that they had previously said it’s okay if Charlie dies. Charlie’s parents were so Furious by what the judge said they walked out of the courtroom.
Now, new reports indicate Francis wants an independent third-party to measure Charlie’s head to determine if there has been any brain development. Francis said the measurement should resolve the debate over whether there has been any improvement in Charlie’s condition and whether an experimental treatment may be able to help further.
“If there is important new evidence that suggests my decision should be changed then I will change it,” Francis told the hearing at London’s High Court. “What I can’t do … is reopen issues that already have been dealt with, not only be me, but by the Court of Appeal.”
Yates said she had used her own tape measure on Thursday to measure the circumference of her son’s head, claiming it is 2 centimeters larger than GOSH had recorded. Grant Armstrong, representing Charlie’s parents, said Yates had recorded a measurement of 42.4 centimeters.
Francis said: “If I’m being told the measurements being taken by a world famous hospital are wrong I have to have more evidence than you telling me. It is absurd that the science of this case is being infected by the inability to measure a child’s skull. I want this resolved in the next 24 hours.”
Yates told told Good Morning Britain last week, “I’ve heard from doctors that there’s around a 10% chance of this working for Charlie so I think that’s a good enough chance to take.”
She said she does not want her son to suffer. She said it has been “absolute living hell” to wait and wonder when the hospital might end his life support.
“He’s our own flesh and blood and we don’t even have a say in his life whatsoever,” Yates said. “We are not bad parents, we are there for him all the time, we are completely devoted to him and he’s not in pain and suffering, and I promise everyone I would not sit there and watch my son in pain and suffering, I couldn’t do it.”