Judge Says Charlie Gard Can’t Travel to US Without Court Approval

He will hear more evidence, however.

By Liberty McArtor Published on July 21, 2017

Charlie Gard cannot travel to the U.S. without approval from the U.K.’s High Court, even if he becomes a permanent U.S. resident, Judge Nicholas Francis ruled. His parents can present more evidence at the High Court in London next week, Francis said Friday.

The British 11-month-old received new brain scans earlier this week. His medical records were also evaluated in a meeting with Columbia University medical school professor Michio Hirano. Hirano is an expert nucleoside therapy, an experimental treatment Charlie’s parents hope will help him. He met with experts at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and Charlie’s mother Connie Yates.

An International Effort

On Tuesday the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to the Homeland Security spending bill making Charlie a U.S. resident. The move is part of an international effort to help Charlie receive treatment offered by Hirano.

Charlie suffers from severe mitochondrial depletion syndrome and cannot move or breathe on his own. His parents, Yates and Chris Gard, have been fighting a months-long legal battle to take him to the U.S. for a treatment called nucleoside therapy. Since his doctors at GOSH believe the treatment will be useless and only prolong any pain he may be experiencing, U.K. courts have prevented Charlie from leaving or receiving the treatment.

In a hearing last week, Francis said he would make a decision in Charlie’s case by July 25. He ruled in April that Charlie should be taken off life support, siding with GOSH. But after Hirano and several other medical experts signed a letter revealing that there was new evidence in favor of nucleoside therapy for Charlie, Francis agreed to a rehearing. Hirano’s meeting with GOSH experts in London, as well as Charlie’s new brain scans, were arranged last week in the rehearing.

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