LONDON, England, July 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A top American doctor will examine Charlie Gard on Monday and Tuesday and his mother will be allowed to be present, despite the efforts of a government-appointed “guardian” to exclude her.
Today was the last day of Charlie Gard's court case for at least several days. The 11-month-old's case took a turn for the better in court when the judge, Mr. Justice Francis, asked the American doctor testifying via video if he'd be willing to examine Charlie.
Charlie has mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, a rare disease. He's currently on a ventilator from which Great Ormond Street Hospital officials want to remove him against his parents' wishes. Other children with the same condition have greatly improved after receiving therapy that's unavailable to Charlie in the UK.
His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have raised more than $1.5 million to bring him to the U.S. for experimental treatment. But English and European courts have ruled they don't have the right to take their son from the hospital for treatment elsewhere and that the hospital can decide to remove his ventilator instead.
The case is back in court and the judge is considering new evidence.
“It appears the judge will not issue a ruling until July 25, which is a significant victory for the family,” Rev. Patrick Mahoney, an international human rights activist, told LifeSiteNews. Chris and Connie invited Mahoney to come to England to help them; he was in court alongside them.
“The doctor from New York City who testified yesterday and has offered to provide cutting-edge medical technology” that has a 10 percent-56 percent chance to significantly improve Charlie's condition will come to London on Monday and Tuesday to examine Charlie, Mahoney said.
The government-appointed “guardian” who's supposed to “look after Charlie’s interest” didn't want his parents to be allowed in the meeting, Mahoney said. But “Charlie’s parents prevailed.”
“I think it just brought to light the great challenge of the erosion of parental rights here,” he told LifeSiteNews. The guardian was “arguing in open court in the second highest court in Great Britain that Charlie’s parents should not be at [these meetings] Monday and Tuesday.”
Mahoney said it was “very troubling” to see attorneys for the hospital “treating medical experts who wanted to offer Charlie help as if they were hostile witnesses in a murder trial.”
“One would have expected that Great Ormond Street Hospital would have said something to the effect [of] 'we welcome this new cutting-edge technology and we’ll do everything to come alongside the parents to help them,'” Mahoney said. “But they have already made a decision that there is no help for Charlie, that he is virtually 'brain dead,' and they are arguing to pull the ventilator.”
“Connie and Chris have been an extraordinary example of what parents are to be to the world: loving, caring, tenacious, protective,” Mahoney continued. “These two parents who love their only child have stood against the highest courts, the most prestigious hospital in Great Britain for children, and have fought for him to live … Charlie was only hours away from having his ventilator pulled and he’s still with us.”
What's “so tragic” about this case is everyone, even the court and the hospital officials, agree that Chris and Connie are “loving” parents yet they're still trying to remove any right they have to help their son, Mahoney explained.
“If they judge that a court and hospital officials can usurp parental rights and strip loving and caring parents of their right to make decisions for their child’s future, their destiny, and their health, then we begin to unravel as a society and culture,” he said. “This is, if you will, the canary in the coal mine of what happens when government bureaucrats and hospital officials usurp parental rights.”