US Doctor, Dr. Michio Hirano Offers To Treat Terminally Ill Charlie Gard

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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 U.S. 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.

Charlie has infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital told the court their position remains unchanged, that every medical treatment option had already been explored, and that any experimental treatment would be unjustified.

The parents have fought in court for permission to take the child to the United States for treatment.

Dr. Michio Hirano, a neurologist from Columbia University Medical Center, flew to London for meetings with Charlie's medical team per the judge's order.

Charlie made global headlines earlier this month after President Donald Trump and Pope Francis commented on his case.

Hirano was invited to make the visit after offering an experimental gene therapy he believes has a 10% chance of improving muscle strength and bringing a "small but significant" improvement to Charlie's brain function.

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The High Court has previously ruled that Charlie's life support should be removed to enable him to die with dignity.

Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have raised £1.3 million (US$ 1.7 million) to take the baby to the USA for nucleoside therapy.

While he has not seen the baby in person, he said that the tests on Charlie's brain show "disorganisation of brain activity and not major structural brain damage".

In addition to evaluating Charlie, Hirano will meet with doctors and others, on Monday and Tuesday, who have been caring for him.

The court battle continues.

High Court judge Nicholas Francis said he was "open-minded about the evidence" to come.

Every ruling has been in favor of Charlie's specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

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