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In a stunning turnabout, British High Court to hear “fresh evidence” in Charlie Gard case

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In a highly unexpected turn of events, Mr. Justice Francis of England’s High Court will hear new evidence on Monday in the case of Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old boy whom London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital [GOSH] has persistently maintained is better off dead. There had been numerous indications that GOSH would remove Charlie’s life support today.

The hospital issued a statement indicating that it had applied to the High Court for a fresh hearing in the case of Charlie Gard in light of claims of new evidence relating to potential treatment for his condition. The statement further stated that Great Ormond Street Hospital is therefore giving the High Court the opportunity to objectively assess the claims of fresh evidence.

The hospital has not altered its stance, as reported by the BBC, that it is in Charlie’s best interest to die. However, this stance has been revised following the submission of seven medical experts who have suggested that unpublished data indicates that therapy could improve the 11-month-old’s brain condition.

In a statement that is highly self-serving, a spokesman for the hospital has indicated that two international hospitals and their researchers have communicated to them as late as the last 24 hours that they have fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment.

“We concur with the view of Charlie’s parents that it is appropriate to examine this evidence.

“Great Ormond Street Hospital is providing the High Court with the opportunity to assess the claims of fresh evidence objectively.

“It will be for the High Court to make a determination based on the facts.

“Our position has not changed. We believe it is appropriate to seek the High Court’s opinion in light of the claimed new evidence.”

This represents unambiguous positive developments. Each day that the death sentence is suspended is an additional day that the family is together and the possibility of exerting further pressure is enhanced.

It should be noted that there are a number of caveats. Mr. Justice Francis was the justice who concluded that it was lawful and in Charlie’s best interests not to undergo nucleoside therapy (the experimental therapy), provided that the measures and treatments adopted were the most compatible with maintaining Charlie’s dignity.

Secondly, the hospital presents itself as an unwilling accomplice and as being in no position to allow Charlie’s parents to take him to the United States, where two hospitals have already agreed to treat Charlie. The hospital states that it is bound by the ruling of the High Court, which expressly forbids it from transferring Charlie for nucleoside therapy anywhere.

It is evident that the courts were merely confirming the stance previously taken by GOSH, namely that the experimental treatment in question would be unjustified. Moreover, it would be futile and would prolong Charlie’s suffering.

Thirdly, it is unclear who will be presenting the purported “fresh evidence.” It remains to be seen whether the court will accept the position of GOSH, which has consistently stated that it has already exhausted all possible avenues and is highly sceptical of nucleoside therapy. It remains to be seen whether one of the external experts will be permitted to present testimony. The parents’ legal counsel? New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, one of the two US medical centers that have volunteered to treat Charlie.

It is also noteworthy that the second sentence of GOSH’s statement reads, “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.” The parents have vehemently asserted that they have not been adequately informed or permitted to participate.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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