Sky News is publishing a minute-by-minute blog on today’s court proceedings involving 11 month-old Charlie Gard, including the dust-up between Charlie’s parents and the judge as well as testimony from a US expert who describes the kind of treatment he is proposing to improve the boy’s life.
In an on-going blog, Sky News is reporting on the examination of a witness from the US, who is not being identified by name, who says the experimental treatment he is proposing for Charlie Gard, who suffers from a rare form of mitochrondrial depletion syndrome, has anywhere from a 11 to 56 percent chance of improving his muscle strength.
While being examined by attorneys for both the hospital and Charlie’s guardian, the expert from New York, who is attending via video, is said to be prominent in his field. He admits that he is talking about results from treating a slightly different disease but believes it can still be effective for Charlie.
The physician, who has a treatment plan for Charlie which he shared with colleagues in Rome and Barcelona, told the court that there is a rational basis for expecting an improvement in Charlie’s brain cells from the treatment.
“We’d hope for enhanced muscle strength. Expect small but significant brain improvement,” the expert said.
When asked how confident he was that Charlie was not experiencing pain, the expert said, “I have no evidence that he does.”
During the examination, it was also revealed that FDA authorization would be needed before he could treat Charlie
Meanwhile, Charlie’s parents listened with great attention to the proceedings. Charlie’s father, Chris Gard, reportedly sat with his son’s toy monkey pressed to his face.
At one point in the proceedings, the judge misquoted the child’s mother, Connie Yates, implying that she said in an earlier court appearance that her son was suffering.
“I didn’t say he was suffering,” Ms. Yates shouted angrily just before the couple stormed out of court.
Judge Justice Francis later corrected himself and apologized, promising the couple that they would not be misquoted in the proceedings.
The judge also said that “it seems extremely unlikely that we’ll reach the stage today that will make a final determination either way.”
Click here to stay abreast of the proceedings.
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