LONDON — A British court will assess new evidence Monday in the case of 11-month-old Charlie Gard as his mother pleaded with judges to allow the terminally ill infant to receive experimental treatment.
Great Ormond Street Hospital applied for the court hearing to be held because of “new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition” from researchers at the Vatican’s children’s hospital and another facility outside of Britain.
The application came after both Pope Francis and President Donald Trump brought international attention to the case, with hospitals in Rome and the U.S. offering to provide Charlie the experimental therapy.
A petition supporting Charlie’s right to treatment has garnered around 350,000 signatures and more than 1.3 million pounds ($1.7 million) have been raised online for his case.
The re-opening of the case at London’s High Court may allow Charlie to receive the therapy treatment at his current hospital or abroad.
Previous courts ruled that Charlie couldn’t receive the treatment for his mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease that left him with brain damage and unable to breathe unaided, and that he should be taken off of life support. These rulings sided with the hospital’s original stance that the experimental treatment was “unjustified” and may cause Charlie more suffering with no cure.
Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, told Sky News that she wants the judges to listen to experts on his condition who say the treatment might help.
“I hope they can see there is more of a chance than previously thought and hope they trust us as parents and trust the other doctors,” she said.
Yates said that seven specialists from around the world have voiced their support and told her that the treatment has an “up to 10 percent chance of working.”
The news comes days after New-York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center agreed to admit and evaluate Charlie, provided that arrangements are made to safely transfer him to the facility, legal hurdles are cleared, and they receive emergency approval from the FDA for an experimental treatment as appropriate.