After Fight Over Charlie Gard's Head Size, an Outburst in Court

Questions from the judge brought things to a boiling point
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 13, 2017 9:15 AM CDT
Charlie Gard's Parents Storm Out of London Hearing
The parents of critically ill baby Charlie Gard, Connie Yates and Chris Gard arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.   (Jonathan Brady)

The parents of a baby with a rare genetic disease stormed out of a London court hearing in an emotional outburst Thursday, as the couple tried to convince a judge to let them take 11-month-old Charlie Gard to the United States for medical treatment. A succession of judges has backed specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital, who argue experimental treatment in America won't help and may cause suffering for Charlie. The parents hoped to present fresh evidence to alter that view. Two hours into the High Court hearing, questions from Judge Nicholas Francis prompted tensions to boil over. Charlie's mother, Connie Yates, accused Francis of misquoting her earlier statements about Charlie's quality of life. "We said he's not suffering and not in pain," Yates yelled. "If he was we wouldn't be up here fighting."

Chris Gard then slammed his water cup down and the couple left the courtroom, the AP reports. The BBC notes the court had earlier discussed the issue of Charlie's head size, with Yates claiming she had measured it this morning and found it 3/4 of an inch larger than what the hospital has logged. The hospital maintains it has seen no growth in three months, signifying a lack of brain development. Charlie suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which has left him brain damaged and unable to breathe unaided. The hospital says there is no known cure and believes his life support systems should be turned off. The parents want to try to treat him—but it isn't up to them under British law. A decision is not expected Thursday. President Trump and the pope have weighed in on the case. (More Charlie Gard stories.)

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