Charlie Gard: Parents face 'backlash' over hospital threats

Great Ormond Street Hospital

Police have been contacted after staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital received death threats in connection with the Charlie Gard case.

They have been subjected to abuse online, in the street and in the hospital itself, said Great Ormond Street chief Mary MacLeod.

The hospital is in close contact with the Metropolitan Police over the incidents, Ms McLeod said in a statement.

Mr Gard and Ms Yates have asked judges to rule that Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in NY.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates returned to the High Court ahead of the latest round in their long-running legal battle over their son's treatment.Photo:PA.

Hirano says that Charlie's condition could be significantly improved by nucleoside bypass therapy but specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital said the therapy, which is being requested by the boy's parents, was experimental and would not help.

The family's plight has drawn many supporters who have stage noisy protests outside the court.

MacLeod said families visiting other ill children have also been "harassed and discomforted" on the grounds of the hospital. Staff have received abuse both in the street and on line.

"The GOSH community has been subjected to a shocking and disgraceful tide of hostility and disturbance".


The pre-hearing Friday was the latest step in his parents' long legal battle to give Charlie, who suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome and can not breathe unaided, an experimental treatment.

'We are extremely upset by the backlash we've received after Great Ormond Street Hospital put out their statement last night, ' the couple said.

Charlie's parents have lost all previous court cases, including one before the European Court of Human Rights, which were created to force the hospital to let them bring their son to the United States for an experimental treatment.

British and European courts have so far backed the doctors' position, ruling that transferring Charlie to the USA would prolong suffering without a realistic prospect of success.

'Despite conflicting issues, we have always had the utmost respect for all the staff who work tirelessly at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the very hard jobs they do everyday. "We fully understand that there is intense public interest, and that emotions run high", she added.

"We recognise the tireless advocacy of Charlie's loving parents and the natural sympathy people feel with his situation".

The hearing was held in advance of the trial, scheduled for Tuesday at the UK High Court.

Charlie has been examined by Dr. Michio Hirano, an American neurology expert from Columbia Medical Center in NY who has designed the proposed experimental treatment.

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