A UK judge has given the parents of critically ill Charlie Gard two days to present “new and powerful evidence” that their son should not be taken off of life support.
Fox News reports that Judge Nicholas Francis said he would gladly welcome convincing new evidence that 11-month-old Charlie, who suffers from a rare mitochondrial disease and has brain damage, has a chance of improving.
"There is not a person alive who would not want to save Charlie," Judge Francis said, according to The Sun newspaper. "If there is new evidence, I will hear it. If you bring new evidence to me and I consider that evidence changes the situation … I will be the first to welcome that outcome."
Charlie’s case has captured the attention of people around the world. Even President Trump and Pope Francis have offered to help. Yesterday, GOP lawmakers said they will introduce a bill granting Charlie U.S. resident status so he can come to the U.S. for treatment.
Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, want to be granted the right to take Charlie to the U.S. where doctors are offering an experimental treatment that could possibly help with Charlie’s condition.
The debate over Charlie’s condition has centered not only around the pro-life debate, but also around parental rights.
In Britain, the authority to make decisions about the appropriate treatment for a child is sometimes given to the government rather than to the child’s parents. The Great Ormond Street Hospital where Charlie has spent his entire life appealed to the courts to withdraw Charlie’s life support, which sparked the whole controversy.
Gard and Yates say they just want the chance to see if the new treatment can help their son.
"We're not saying Great Ormond Street is a bad hospital but they don't have a specialist for his particular condition," Yates said. "We don't see what's dignified about him dying - we think it's dignified that he has a chance at life and if it doesn't work then we'll let him go."
Photo: Parents of Charlie Gard, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, leave the Royal Courts of Justice on April 5, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. The crowdfunding campaign raising money for treatment in the US for eight month old Charlie Gard reached its target of £1.2million this weekend. Charlie suffers from a form of mitochondrial disease and is the subject of a dispute over life-support between the Great Ormond Street specialists who are treating him and his parents.
Photo courtesy: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Publication date: July 11, 2017