Hospital requests new hearing for sick baby Charlie Gard
By Debra Goldschmidt
(CNN) -- The London hospital caring for 11-month-old Charlie Gard has requested a new hearing to consider "fresh evidence" about a possible treatment for his rare condition.
The hospital said in a statement Friday that it "applied to the (UK's) High Court for a fresh hearing in the case of Charlie Gard in light of claims of new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition."
On June 30, the European Court of Human Rights decided that Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children can discontinue life support to the baby.
It was a final decision after a series of hearings and appeals by his parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, who hoped to transfer their son to the United States for an experimental treatment for his rare genetic disease. They had already raised the money for the treatment and been in touch with an unnamed physician in the US.
Charlie was born in August with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, a progressive disease that causes muscle weakness and loss of motor skills, leaving those who have it unable to stand, walk, eat, talk and eventually breathe. Charlie will die from his illness, his doctors have said.
"Two international hospitals and their researchers have communicated to us as late as the last 24 hours that they have fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment," the hospital statement said.
The two hospitals were not named, but New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center said in their own statement Friday that they "have agreed to admit and evaluate Charlie provided that the arrangements are made to safely transfer him to our facility, legal hurdles have cleared and we receive emergency approval from the FDA for an experimental treatment as appropriate."
The hospitals also said they offered to work with and advise Great Ormond Street Hospital on treating Charlie in London if the US Food and Drug Administration gave approval for the drug to be shipped there.
On Tuesday, the Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital in Italy said it had been in touch with the London hospital "to verify whether the health conditions exist to possibly transfer Charlie to our hospital," said Mariella Enoc, president of the hospital, in a statement. It also said Enoc had talked with Charlie's mother.
The same day, US President Donald Trump tweeted that the US would be delighted to help the boy.
Great Ormond Street Hospital said it is "bound by the ruling of the High Court which expressly forbids us from transferring Charlie for nucleoside therapy anywhere." In other words, it is legally prohibited from transferring Charlie.
In previous hearings on the case, experts upheld the hospital's view that every medical treatment option had been explored and that any experimental treatment would be unjustified.
"Our view has not changed," Great Ormond Street Hospital said Friday.
But it said officials have met with Charlie's parents to let them know about the requested new hearing. "We believe, in common with Charlie's parents, it is right to explore this new evidence."
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