LONDON, England, July 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The hospital fighting to take Charlie Gard off life support announced today that it's asked the High Court to reconsider the case based on new evidence that needs to be considered.
“We have just met with Charlie’s parents to inform them of this decision and will continue to keep them fully appraised of the situation,” Great Ormond Street Hospital said in a statement Friday.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, Charlie's parents, have been fighting in European courts for their right to bring their 11-month-old to the U.S. for experimental treatment for his rare muscle and brain disease. They raised over $1 million to do this, but English courts sided with the hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital, which wants to remove him from life support rather than allow him to be transferred to another hospital.
Then, the European Court of Human Rights also sided with the hospital. Charlie was scheduled to die on Friday, June 30, but his parents have been granted more time with him. The hospital has the legal right to turn off Charlie's life support at any time now, and his parents aren't allowed to take him out of the hospital.
International pro-life activists Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Bobby Schindler, and Catherine Glenn Foster were supposed to be in the meeting with Charlie's parents and hospital officials, which was supposed to be at 5:00 p.m. London time. It was moved to an earlier time, the activists told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview.
Mahoney, standing outside Great Ormond Street Hospital, told LifeSiteNews via phone: “This is obviously a significant victory for Charlie and his family first, but [also] for parental rights. The fact that the hospital is willing to consider new information – I’m sure this is connected with the overtures made by the New York Presbyterian and Columbia University hospitals and other universities.”
“Some of the doctors are saying there’s a ten percent chance with this experimental treatment that Charlie’s life could significantly improve,” said Mahoney. “Ten percent is a significant number.”
“Two international hospitals and their researchers have communicated to us as late as the last 24 hours that they have fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment,” the hospital said in its statement. “And we believe, in common with Charlie’s parents, it is right to explore this evidence,” but they're currently unable to do so because of the previous court rulings.
This “extraordinary good news,” said Mahoney, is a testament to the love Charlie's parents have for him. “They would not give up. Had they not been so perseverant, so dedicated to their son, so devoted to him getting care, he would be dead right now.”
He said they should be an example to every family dealing with these issues.
They “stood strong and God honored them,” the minister and social justice advocate said.
Mahoney said he's heard “some” of the new evidence in favor of keeping Charlie alive.
“We can’t go public with it now” but “it’s very compelling for Charlie,” he said.
Foster, the President of Americans United for Life, said at the activists' meeting at the White House yesterday, officials there recommended they head to England.
Foster called the hospital's request for another hearing a “very, very positive development” although “we don’t know where this will lead.”
It “certainly buys a reprieve” for Charlie, she said.
Schindler told LifeSiteNews he's “ecstatic” that Charlie has another chance at treatment and said he's grateful for the international attention Pope Francis and President Trump have brought to the case. This is just one high-profile example of the ongoing clash between parental rights and an aggressive, often anti-life healthcare system, he said.
“Our view has not changed,” the hospital said. But “we believe it is right to seek the High Court’s view in light of the claimed new evidence.”