Results from baby Charlie Gard’s MRI scans were read in court today, July 21, leading Gard’s father to mouth “evil” to the lawyer and to Gard’s mother. He then stormed out of the courtroom. The parents had not seen the MRI results beforehand. Upon hearing them for the first time and being used against them in court, they could not control their emotions. The content of the scans, as relayed by the lawyer representing the hospital, obviously wasn’t information that the parents wanted to hear, much less to hear for the first time in that setting.
The parents are still trying to fight a ruling that their child’s life support be switched off. They have raised enormous amounts of money from supporters to get the baby to doctors in the United States who can potentially help him. The Vatican also offered to help.
Charlie Gard’s parents, mother Connie Yates and father Chris Gard, are still unable to take the baby to the United States for treatment. U.S. Congress passed an amendment on July 18 to grant Charlie Gard resident status so that he can legally get treatment in the United States. The British courts just have to make this possible by allowing him to leave the care of the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Because the state is responsible for medical care in the United Kingdom, the state can make decisions on how to apply that care. That is the reason this case is dragging out and how it highlights that medical care in the U.K. is very different from a lot of other places.
Next week a judge will allow the parents to present new evidence. Professor of neurosurgery Dr. Michio Hirano, a U.S. doctor who believes he can help, will also be allowed to present evidence.
Eleven-month-old Charlie Gard suffers from a severe form of mitochondrial depletion syndrome. British courts doubt the condition can be treated, but Gard’s parents are not letting up the fight to give their baby whatever chance he has.