US specialist examines Charlie (3)

Professor Hirano at Great Ormond St, then High Court

US specialist examines Charlie (3)

London, July 17 - Columbia University medical school specialist Michio Hurano on Monday examined Charlie Gard with British colleagues ahead of a High Court hearing on new experimental treatment and a possible move to the US for the terminally ill 11-month-old British boy, whose Great Ormond Street doctors are poised to pull the plug after earlier British and European court rulings. Hirano recently put the chances of Charlie improving under new experimental treatment at between 10% and 50%. A week ago a British judge set fresh hearings on experimental treatment for Charlie. The new High Court hearing was requested after the Vatican's children's hospital and the US hospital said a new experimental protocol might work for Charlie, whose parents have been trying to secure a move to the US. There is lab evidence that the experimental treatment protocol for Charlie prepared by the Bambino Gesu' may work, according to a letter from Rome to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital which on Friday officially asked its doctors to be allowed to administer it. After receiving the letter, Great Ormond Street asked the High Court for a new hearing on Charlie "in the light of claims concerning possible other treatments". In a statement, the London hospital said it was "right to try" the experimental treatment prepared for Charlie by "two international hospitals. "We are convinced together with Charlie's parents," it said in a statement. "Two international hospitals and their researchers have told us in the last 24 hours that they have new evidence about experimental treatment proposed by them". Earlier this month New-York Presybterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center offered to admit Charlie and to provide him with experimental treatment, according to the Washington Post. The hospital also offered to send the drug to Great Ormond Street Hospital - the British hospital where Charlie is being treated - if approved, the Post added. Bambino Gesu' Hospital chief Mariella Enoc said their researchers had put their treatment protocol for Charlie Gard at the disposal of Great Ormond Street Hospital and the London hospital was "thinking of trying to verify it". Rare-disease specialists at Bambino Gesu' are working with other international experts to map out an experimental treatment protocol for Charlie, hospital chief Mariella Enoc said. Charlie Gard's mother has said she wrote to Pope Francis asking him to intervene, but did not request United States President Donald Trump's help, the Press Association reported. Bambino Gesu' has offered to try to treat the boy, but British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told Italian Foreign Minister Angelino that this was not possible. The mother, Connie Yates, told the Press Association that doctors at Great Ormond Street wanted to turn off Charlie's life-support but decided not to after the White House intervened. At the end of June, the European Court of Human Rights rejected an appeal by Charlie's parents that he be allowed to undergo the experimental treatment in the US, following a similar ruling by the UK's supreme court. Great Ormond Street had said Charlie's mechanical ventilator would be switched off after the European judgment, but the hospital has since given the boy's parents more time to spend with him before this happens. British tabloid The Sun has reported that Pope Francis wants to give Charlie a Vatican passport so the court ruling can be overcome.

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