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US doctor at Great Ormond Street Hospital for talks over Charlie Gard’s future

Press Association logoPress Association 17/07/2017 By PA Reporters
Charlie's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard are pinning their hopes on a US specialist (Dominic Lipinski/PA) © Provided by The Press Association Charlie's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard are pinning their hopes on a US specialist (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The American doctor who has offered to treat Charlie Gard has attended a meeting at Great Ormond Street Hospital which will help decide if the 11-month-old goes to the US for treatment.

Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, has flown to the UK to join meetings of medical experts at the hospital, as part of the court battle over Charlie’s future.

Great Ormond Street has given Dr Hirano an honorary contract, which the hospital said gives him the same status as its own physicians.

Related: 'Charlie Gard is being held prisoner' (Provided by: Sky News)


This means he can examine Charlie, and has full access to his medical records and the hospital’s facilities.

A judge ruled that Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, could be present for Monday’s discussions about Charlie’s treatment with the foreign doctor and other medical experts.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates have clashed with doctors (Family handout/PA) © Provided by The Press Association Chris Gard and Connie Yates have clashed with doctors (Family handout/PA)

Meetings are scheduled to take place on Monday and Tuesday to talk about Charlie’s condition, before litigation resumes.

Charlie’s parents are fighting for their son to be allowed to go to the US for a therapy trial for his rare genetic condition, overseen by Dr Hirano.

Charlie is being treated in Great Ormond Street Hospital in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA) © Provided by The Press Association Charlie is being treated in Great Ormond Street Hospital in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA) Great Ormond Street Hospital specialists say the treatment will not work, and the little boy’s life support should be turned off.

His parents, from Bedfont, west London, have already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. They also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.

Mr Justice Francis has considered the couple’s latest claims at preliminary hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London over the last few days.

He is due to stage further hearings later this month following this week’s specialist gathering.

Charlie suffers from mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (Family handout/PA) © Provided by The Press Association Charlie suffers from mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (Family handout/PA)

Great Ormond Street Hospital said its medical director met the visiting doctor on arrival. The hospital said clinical staff were “on hand to facilitate the visit”.

As well as Charlie’s medical records, Dr Hirano will also have access to “all clinical systems”, which includes diagnostic images.

The hospital also said the visiting neurosurgeon would have the opportunity to examine the 11-month-old.

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