New York City Hospital Offers to Admit Charlie Gard or Ship Treatment
On the condition that "legal hurdles are cleared" and the FDA approves of the experimental treatment.
A New York City hospital has offered to admit Charlie Gard or ship treatment to his hospital in the U.K.
New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center issued the statement Thursday Night. According to a report by CBS, it has “agreed to admit and evaluate Charlie.”
The hospital made the offer on the condition that “arrangements are made to safely transfer him to our facility, legal hurdles are cleared, and we receive emergency approval from the FDA for an experimental treatment as appropriate.”
The hospital also offered to ship the experimental treatment to the U.K., should the FDA approve.
Eleven-month-old Charlie has a rare mitochondrial depletion disorder. He cannot move or breathe on his own. His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, want to take him to the U.S. for experimental treatment. They have raised over $1 million in private funds to do so.
However, Charlie’s doctors say the treatment won’t work. They insisted he must be taken off life support to prevent further suffering. British courts have ruled in favor of the doctors. Charlie’s parents even appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. But last week, the court declined to hear their case. Currently, the previous court rulings against Yates and Gard stand.
On Friday, Yates appeared on Good Morning Britain.
“I’ve heard from the doctors that there’s around a 10 percent chance of this working for Charlie,” she said of the experimental treatment. “So I think that’s a good enough chance to take … In some sense people may say that’s a small chance, but when it comes to medicine that’s quite a big chance. Because sometimes you’ll do chemotherapy and there’s only a 2 percent chance of it working, but you still try, cause everybody wants to live, you know.”
“Euthanasia’s illegal, suicide’s illegal, how is this legal?” she added.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 7, 2017
According to the BBC, Yates also told Good Morning Britain that Charlie is not suffering as his doctors insist.
“We are not bad parents,” she said. “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.”
Though their legal options seem all but exhausted, Charlie’s parents haven’t given up. Yates has reached out to the Vatican, which also expressed support for Charlie.
On Sunday, Pope Francis issued a statement saying he prays Charlie’s parents will be able to treat him until the end. He also tweeted his support:
To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 30, 2017
Earlier this week, the Vatican children’s hospital offered to take Charlie, free of charge. But when Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano officially made the offer in a phone call to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Johnson declined. He said decisions should “be led by expert medical opinion, supported by the courts,” according to his spokesman.
According to The Sun, an unnamed source claims the Pope is looking into making Charlie a citizen of the Vatican City in order to transfer him out of the U.K. The Sun also quotes Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who says “we are doing whatever we can.”
President Donald Trump also expressed his support for and interest in helping Charlie.
On Monday he tweeted that “if there is a way the U.S. can help, “we would be delighted.”
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017
According to the BBC, Yates told Good Morning Britain she believes the White House could be responsible for helping to postpone Charlie’s death. Originally he was scheduled to be taken off life support last Friday, but the hospital postponed.
“And then it was going to be on the Monday instead but I think the White House got involved over the weekend and then that changed things,” she said.
According to The Telegraph, Trump will broach the difficult topic with British Prime Minister Theresa May during the G20 Summit. May previously backed Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie is staying.