May backs hospital caring for critically ill Charlie Gard

UK

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LONDON British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she was confident the London hospital caring for a critically ill baby would consider any offers of help after his case attracted the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump and the pope.

The case of 10-month-old Charlie Gard, who has a form of mitochondrial disease – a rare genetic condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage – has gained global interest after his parents lost a long legal battle to give him experimental therapy in the United States.

Trump tweeted an offer of help on Monday, a day after Pope Francis offered prayers for Gard and his family. The Vatican-owned paediatric hospital in Rome has also said it is ready to offered to take over the care of the baby.

“I am confident that Great Ormond Street hospital have and always will consider any offers or new information that has come forward with consideration of the well-being of a desperately ill child,” May told parliament.

Gard’s parents wanted him to undergo a U.S. therapy trial but specialists at the London hospital where he is being cared for said the treatment was experimental and would not help.

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled last month that going to the United States for treatment would prolong the baby’s suffering without any realistic prospect of helping him.

“Thoughts of all members of the house are with the family and Charlie at this exceptionally difficult time. It’s an unimaginable position for anybody to be in,” May said.

(Reporting by Sarah Mills; editing by John Stonestreet)

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