Latest: US doctor offering to treat Charlie Gard could examine sick baby in London

Update 7:26pm: An American doctor offering to treat Charlie Gard might travel to London to examine the terminally-ill baby.

News of the possible visit emerged as Charlie's parents mounted the latest round of a legal battle at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates asked a judge to rule that 11-month-old Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in the United States.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Charlie Gard's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard listening as an American doctor offering to treat their son gives evidence via video link.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, say the therapy is experimental and will not help.

They say life-support treatment should stop.

The couple, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, have already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.

They have also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.

The couple say there is new evidence and want Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of their case.

In April, the judge ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Mr Justice Francis began considering their claims at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Thursday.

The hearing is due to resume on Friday.

The doctor gave evidence to the hearing on Thursday via a video link from the United States.

Mr Justice Francis has ruled that the doctor cannot be identified.

Family spokesperson for Charlie Gard Alasdair Seton-Marsden.

The judge said he wanted to hear what the doctor thought had changed since he gave his ruling in April.

The doctor said he had clinical data which was not available in April.

He said he still thought the therapy was ''worth trying''.

The doctor estimated a 10% chance of improvement in muscle strength and a "small but significant" improvement in brain function.

He said he had not seen or examined Charlie.

The judge said it may be a good idea if the doctor travelled to London to see Charlie and meet Great Ormond Street specialists.

Lawyers told the the judge that the doctor might be able to visit in the next few days.

Barrister Grant Armstrong, who is leading Charlie's parents' legal team, said the couple thought they had fresh evidence.

''The parents seek to re-open the case in relation to the chances of success of treatment,'' he said.

''This case does raise some important issues.''

Mr Armstrong told the judge in a written summary of the couple's case: ''The parents contend that there is a real issue to be resolved as to whether the court's earlier findings can be sustained.''

He added: ''The material shifts the balance of best interests clearly in favour of continuation of life and in favour of treatment.''

Mr Justice Francis said he was unlikely to give any ruling on Friday.

Earlier: An American doctor has told the UK's High Court he thinks an experimental treatment being suggested for Charlie Gard is worth trying.

The doctor says new data has emerged since April - when a judge ruled that 11-month old Charlie, who has a rare genetic condition, should be allowed to die.

Update 5:56pm: A High Court judge has raised concern about medics treating Charlie Gard being abused and threatened.

Mr Justice Francis said he had been told staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London were subjected to "vile" abuse and threats.

He warned that perpetrators would be punished if their identities became known and said he wanted that message to go out "loud and clear".

The judge was speaking as he oversaw the latest round of a legal fight between Charlie's parents and Great Ormond Street bosses at a High Court hearing in London.

He said: "I don't know how anybody can think they are helping the parents' case."

Earlier: Charlie Gard's parents have told a judge reviewing the benefits of allowing the terminally-ill baby to undergo a treatment trial abroad that they feel "stripped of their rights".

Chris Gard and Connie Yates want Mr Justice Francis to rule that 11-month-old Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in the United States.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, say the therapy is experimental and will not help.

They say life-support treatment should stop.

The couple, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, are mounting the latest stage of their fight at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

Charlie's parents have already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.

They have also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.

Charlie Gard supporters outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London today.

The couple say there is new evidence and want Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of their case.

Mr Justice Francis is analysing evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

A lawyer representing Great Ormond Street bosses told Mr Justice Francis they do not believe there is any role for a court.

"Charlie's parents fundamentally believe that they alone have the right to decide what treatment Charlie has and does not have," said Katie Gollop QC in a written statement.

"They do not believe that there is any role for a judge or a court.

"They feel they have been stripped of their rights as parents."

But Ms Gollop said Great Ormond Street is bound by "different principles".

She said children also have rights and the hospital mission statement is: "The child first and always."

Ms Gollop said doctors treat children as individuals and act in a child's best interests.

Update 1.08pm: The parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard have walked out of a High Court hearing where a judge has been asked to review treatment decisions.

The couple walked out about two hours into today's hearing. Mr Gard stood up and said: "I thought this was supposed to be independent."

Chris Gard and Connie Yates want Mr Justice Francis to rule that 11-month-old Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in the United States.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, say the therapy is experimental and will not help.

They say life-support treatment should stop.

Charlie Gard's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice in London

The couple, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, are mounting the latest stage of their fight at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

Charlie's parents have already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.

They have also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.

The couple now want Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of their case.

Mr Justice Francis had earlier told the hearing: "If there is important evidence which suggests that I should change my decision then I will change it."

Barrister Grant Armstrong, who is leading Charlie's parents' legal team, indicated the couple thought they had evidence which was new.

He said the plan was for a specialist in the US who was offering therapy to give evidence at the hearing via a link from America.

Mr Armstrong said a hospital in Rome had also made an offer.

And he said there was evidence to suggest the proposed therapy would not be futile.

Mr Armstrong said the American doctor offering treatment was a "world authority".

He said the therapy on offer was not "fringe science".

"There is a respectable body of authoritative opinion," he said.

"There are treatments available."

Mr Armstrong said: "The parents seek to re-open the case in relation to the chances of success of treatment."

He said Great Ormond Street doctors had agreed to keep providing life-support treatment pending the outcome of the latest stage of litigation.

Mr Armstrong said Charlie's parents' unease at decisions made by judges is shared by members of the public.

"This case does raise some important issues," he said.

"There is a proper debate from those who are informed."

Mr Justice Francis said he was unlikely to make a "final determination" on Thursday.

Charlie Gard supporters outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Picture: PA

Earlier: The judge who ruled that terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard should be allowed to die with dignity says he will change his decision if presented with important new evidence.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates want Mr Justice Francis to rule that 11-month-old Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in the United States.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, say the therapy is experimental and will not help. They say life-support treatment should stop.

The couple, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, are mounting the latest stage of their fight at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

Charlie's parents have already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.

They have also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene. The couple now want Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of their case.

The judge, who in April ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street doctors and decided that Charlie should be allowed to ''die with dignity'', has told the couple that he had already analysed the case at a trial and would not rake over old facts.

But he said: "If there is important evidence which suggests that I should change my decision then I will change it."

Barrister Grant Armstrong, who is leading Charlie's parents' legal team, indicated that the couple thought they had evidence which was new.

He said the plan was for a specialist in the US who was offering therapy to give evidence at the hearing via a link from America. Mr Armstrong said a hospital in Rome had also made an offer.

And he said there was evidence to suggest that the proposed therapy would not be futile.

Charlie Gard.

Mr Armstrong said the American doctor offering treatment was a "world authority".

He said the therapy on offer was not "fringe science".

"There is a respectable body of authoritative opinion," he said. "There are treatments available."

Mr Armstrong said: "The parents seek to re-open the case in relation to the chances of success of treatment."

He said Great Ormond Street doctors had agreed to keep providing life-support treatment pending the outcome of the latest stage of litigation.

Charlie's parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates, with Charlie in hospital.

CASE TIMELINE:

:: August 4 2016 - Charlie Gard is born a ''perfectly healthy'' baby at full term and at a ''healthy weight''.

:: September 2016 - Charlie's parents notice that he is less able to lift his head and support himself than other babies of a similar age. Doctors discover that he has a rare inherited disease - infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS).

:: October 2016 - Charlie has become lethargic and his breathing is shallow and he is transferred to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London on October 11.

:: December 2016 - Charlie spends his first Christmas in hospital with his parents putting a festive bib on the youngster and sharing a picture captioned ''our little elf''.

:: January 2017 - A crowdfunding page is set up to help finance trial therapy in the United States.

:: March 3 2017 - Great Ormond Street bosses ask Mr Justice Francis to rule that life-support treatment should stop.

:: April 11 - Mr Justice Francis says doctors can stop providing life-support treatment after analysing the case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

:: May 3 - Charlie's parents ask Court of Appeal judges to consider the case.

:: May 23 - Three Court of Appeal judges analyse the case and dismiss the couple's appeal two days later.

:: June 8 - Charlie's parents lose fight in the Supreme Court - his mother screams as justices announce their decision.

:: June 20 - Judges in the European Court of Human Rights start to analyse the case after lawyers representing Charlie's parents make written submissions.

:: June 27 - European court judges refuse to intervene. A Great Ormond Street spokeswoman says the European Court decision marks ''the end'' of a ''difficult process''. She says there will be ''no rush'' to change Charlie's care and says there will be ''careful planning and discussion''.

:: June 29 - Charlie's parents say his life-support will be switched off on Friday June 30.

:: June 30 - They say GOSH has agreed to ''give us a little bit more time'' with Charlie. They ask for privacy ''while we prepare to say the final goodbye".

:: July 2 - Pope Francis calls for the couple to be allowed to ''accompany and treat their child until the end'', saying he has followed the case with ''affection and sadness''.

:: July 3 - US President Donald Trump intervenes with an offer of help, tweeting: ''If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.''

:: July 4 - Bambino Gesu, the Vatican's children's hospital in Rome, offers to take Charlie in.

:: July 10 - Charlie's parents return to the High Court and ask Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of the case. Mr Justice Francis said he will consider any new evidence.


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