A New York City doctor will travel to Britain to assess the little boy at the center of an emotional medical fight that has garnered global attention.
Charlie Gard, 11 months old, was born with a rare genetic condition that means he cannot breathe without a respirator and is scheduled to be removed from life support at a London hospital.
Columbia University’s Dr. Michio Hirano testified via video-link Thursday as Charlie’s parents argued against British doctors who say further treatment will only cause more suffering.
The doctor, who specializes in neurological conditions such as the boy’s mitochondrial depletion syndrome, said that it is worth trying new treatments, and will fly to London next week to assess the infant.
New York hospital offers to take terminally ill baby Charlie Gard
Chris Gard and Connie Yates’ pleas to let their son leave the UK for treatment have attracted offers from help from President Trump and Pope Francis to treat Charlie in the U.S. or at the Vatican.
New York Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center said last week that it would be open to treating him, and that it could seek emergency approval from the FDA for the new method.
The “nucleoside” therapy, which would try to stimulate the formation of DNA affected by Charlie’s disease, has about a 10% chance of improving his condition, Hirano said earlier this week.
Doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London have said that they don’t believe the treatment will help and that he should be allowed to die with dignity.
British government says Charlie Gard cannot be moved to Vatican
Beyond possible treatment in the U.S., the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu Hospital has also offered to care for the British boy.
With News Wire Services
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