The huge popular pushback against bioethical aggression in the Charlie Gard case, including the intervention of Pope Francis and Donald Trump, seems to be bearing fruit.
They are all experts in mitochondrial depletion syndrome, the incredibly rare genetic condition afflicting Charlie.
The courts have ruled there was no evidence a proposed experimental drug therapy would work. But the seven said: ‘There is substantial direct and indirect evidence.’
Great Ormond Street Hospital says “claims of new evidence” in the treatment of Charlie Gard have prompted it to seek a new hearing at the High Court. In a statement, the hospital said: “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.
“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. “And we believe, in common with Charlie’s parents, it is right to explore this evidence.”
The little boy’s supporters – dubbed ‘Charlie’s Army’ – went wild with jubilation on social media. A family spokesman said the extraordinary move ‘marked the end of an extremely traumatic and distressing week for his parents and the rest of his family’.
The seven specialists include the American doctor offering to treat Charlie, and a colleague, neither of whom can be named for legal reasons. Two others are from the papal children’s hospital in Rome, two are from the Vall d’Hebron research institute in Barcelona, and the seventh is an award-winning clinical geneticist at Cambridge University.
The experts, who all put their names to the letter, urged Great Ormond Street: ‘In light of this important new information… reconsideration of treatment for Charlie Gard is respectfully advocated.’