Charlie Gard is being held a "captive" by the British State and the National Health Services, and his parents' spokesman, Seton Marsden, wasn't shy about pointing out why that is. In an interview with Fox News before the court appearance, Seton Marsden pointed out the problem with the single payer medical program.
He said, “Had they been wealthy parents, and gone to a private hospital, and said... 'Now we would like to go and try this other hospital elsewhere,' this wouldn’t raise an issue."
He continued, “They [Chris and Connie] have been told they can’t even take him home to die and they cannot fly him to America...So literally, he is being held captive by effectively the British state and the British national health system.”
But just because they aren't rich doesn't mean the couple isn't fighting for their son. Today, Thursday, July 13th, Charlie Gard's parents went back to court—quite likely for the last time—to fight for their chance to remove Charlie from Great Ormond Street Hospital and take him elsewhere for experimental treatment. The judge who originally decided he could not receive further treatment chose to rehear the case after the parents said they had new evidence to support the effectiveness of the treatment.
On Monday, at a preliminary hearing, the judge said he would be willing to change his mind but only based on new evidence. While he seemed relatively sympathetic, the parents did request the case be heard by a different judge who had not already decided where he stood on Charlie. Their request was denied.
Now Charlie's parents stand before Justice Francis, and they're desperately trying to convince him that his life is worth saving. So far in the trial, The Mirror reports, Connie and Chris' lawyer has done everything in his power to prevent evidence that refutes the hospital's claim that Charlie's brain damage is so far advanced that he can't improve. They have argued that his brain scans were read incorrectly, and that contrary to the hospitals claim, Charlie's head has grown in the past three months. The judge requested further information about this claims.
The court also heard form an anonymous witness has confirmed that there is new evidence in the case. The judge required that the evidence be published after the hearing in April, the witness says new studies have been published since then. “It clearly indicates that nucleoside therapy reduces muscle weakness in mice treated for the same condition...The mice had their lives extended and there was evidence of the effectiveness of the nucleosides in their brain function" reports Sky News.
The Court is currently hearing from the U.S. doctor who offered to treat Charlie. The doctor who is appearing via videolink said “expectations are low” that Charlie would improve. However, by low, he means 10%, which a better number than Connie and Chris had previously been given.
However, that doesn't mean that he suddenly agrees with the hospital. The doctor said he is still completely willing to try the treatment. The Mirror also reports that he sent the court new data to be considered including details on his trials of the therapies' effectiveness on mice.
Another expert witness from New York has also weighed in, saying he doesn’t think keeping Charlie on ventilation will cause him long term harm.
As of 5 P.M. London Time, the American Neurologist who says he would treat Charlie agreed to fly to London to access Charlie in person. This comes after the doctor said the GOSH doctors may be wrong about his brain damage—it may be only muscle weakness, reports The Mirror.
"Mr Justice Francis asked if he knew the nucleoside therapy could help Charlie’s condition and he said it was difficult to assess without seeing him," says the Mirror. When the justice heard this, he asked the doctor if he would come to the U.K. if they adjourned for a few days. The doctor answered, "Yes if necessary, I would love to do that.”
At this time, court has been adjourned so that the parents and the hospital can speak. "He has urged lawyers to find as much consensus as possible as they appeal for the case to be adjourned until 2pm tomorrow," writes the Mirror.
It is currently unclear if the case will be adjourned so the U.S. expert can travel to London to examine Charlie.