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American doctor agrees to travel to the United Kingdom to examine Charlie Gard

American doctor agrees to travel to the United Kingdom to examine Charlie Gard

The 11-month-old boy suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease that has left him brain-damaged and unable to breathe unaided.

An American doctor specializing in treating rare genetic conditions is meeting with other specialists treating Charlie Gard, assessing the critically ill 11-month-old for the first time.

High Court Judge Nicholas Francis said Friday he is "open-minded about the evidence" to come after the visit of Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital argue that a new treatment won't help and could make the child suffer.

He further noted that the small number of people with Charlie's rare genetic condition, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, would make robust clinical trials hard.

Ms Yates and Charlie's father, Chris Gard, want to be allowed to take their son to NY to undergo a trial therapy overseen by Dr Hirano.

But judges in several courts - most recently the European Court of Human Rights - told his parents that taking Charlie overseas was not in his best interests.

They do not believe that Charlie has any chance of surviving his critical illness and that life-support treatment for the child should stop.

Preliminary hearings were held at the Family Division of the High Court in London over the last week.

Dr Hirano has said he believes there is now a better chance the treatment would produce a meaningful improvement than there was when he gave evidence three months earlier.

The couple has already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London, and they have failed to persuade the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in their case.

He will meet with doctors and medical experts at the hospital to discuss his treatment.

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

Alasdair Seton-Marsden, who represents Charlie Gard's family to the press, has said baby Charlie has become "a prisoner of the state".