Published: Mon, July 24, 2017
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

Protesters rally ahead of Charlie Gard High Court ruling

Protesters rally ahead of Charlie Gard High Court ruling

Charlie Gard's parents are considering their next steps ahead of the latest High Court hearing in a five-month legal battle over whether the terminally-ill baby should be treated by a specialist in America.

Reacting to the abuse directed at staff Mary MacLeod, chairman of the hospital, said in a statement: "Great Ormond Street Hospital cares for many thousands of seriously unwell children every year, providing outstanding treatment for those who need it most".

Charlie was born with a rare genetic disorder, a form of mitochondrial disease, which causes progressive muscle wasting and brain damage.

The 10-month old baby was born "perfectly healthy" on August 4, past year but around a month later his parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates noticed that he was less able to lift his head and support himself in comparison with other babies of a similar age.

"The GOSH community has been subjected to a shocking and disgraceful tide of hostility and disturbance".

"Great Ormond Street Hospital is in close contact with the Metropolitan Police and we will do everything possible to hold to account anybody who involved in this kind of deplorable behaviour".

Ms MacLeod said: "Families have been harassed and discomforted while visiting their children, and we have received complaints of unacceptable behaviour even within the hospital itself".

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Charlie Gard's parents have said they are "extremely upset" by the backlash they received after GOSH revealed the abuse its staff was suffering. Last week, an American doctor flew to London to evaluate Charlie Gard in the hopes of convincing the courts (if not his doctors) that the 11-month-old could potentially benefit from such treatment.

'Despite conflicting issues, we have always had the utmost respect for all the staff who work tirelessly at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the very hard jobs they do everyday.

The court has previously ruled in favour of GOSH and said the baby should be allowed to die with dignity.

Mr Gard added: "We have always acted in Charlie's best interests and we have never slated gosh publicly, in fact we have been grateful to the staff for their care despite some conflicting issues".

"We recognise the tireless advocacy of Charlie's loving parents and the natural sympathy people feel with his situation". The parents said at the hearing it was the first time they were being told about the latest results in the crucial test of Charlie's brain function, according to the AP.

On Monday and Tuesday, Dr. Michio Hirano, a neurologist from New York's Columbia University Medical Center, met with doctors caring for Charlie and other experts and evaluated the boy in London.

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