The U.S. congressional committee voted unanimously in favor of giving Charlie Gard, the British baby at the center of a medical controversy in the U.K., and his parents permanent residency in the United States so that the terminally ill baby can “get the medical treatment he needs.” U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry revealed the news on Twitter.
CNBC reports that the U.S. congressional committee voted unanimously in favor of passing an amendment that would grant Charlie Gard legal permanent residency in the United States. The amendment may be the only option left for the British family who is vying to leave the U.K. with their infant son for experimental treatment in the States. However, a British court ruling has stated that young Charlie Gard should be removed from life support and allowed to “die with dignity” rather than being subjected to experimental treatments that courts and medical doctors in the U.K. do not believe will provide baby Charlie with an increase in quality of life.
The U.K. originally ruled that Charlie Gard could not leave the country for the experimental treatments despite pleas from the infant’s parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates. Though the court ruled in favor of the hospital and medical staff treating the infant, the court temporarily stayed the order to take Charlie off of life support after receiving more information from Dr. Michio Hirano, a neurologist at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, who has approved an experimental treatment he says could potentially save the child. According to CNN, Dr. Hirano was granted permission to examine the child at the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Hirano is heading the experimental treatment that Charlie’s parents have pushed for the child to receive in the United States. The doctor notes that despite limited clinical trials, there is a chance of “meaningful improvement” with the new drug despite his terminal prognosis.
“[There is an] 11% to 56% chance of clinically meaningful improvement in muscular function with the proposed treatment.”
Charlie Gard’s case was thrust into the international spotlight when both President Donald Trump and Pope Francis spoke out in favor of allowing the child to be flown from the U.K. to the U.S. for the experimental treatment. However, the courts have thus far remained on the side of the hospital.
With the U.S. congressional committee pushing through an amendment for permanent legal residency for Charlie Gard and his parents, the courts may be obliged to allow the new U.S. resident to fly to his country of residency for treatment.
U.K. officials have yet to respond to the news that the U.S. Congress may get involved in the ongoing legal battle between the Gard family and NHS.
What do you think about Congress stepping in to grant Charlie Gard U.S. residency so that he may be able to circumvent the U.K. ruling that he be pulled from life support? Is the United States overstepping its boundaries or is this a human rights issue?
[Featured Image by Connie Yates/GoFundMe]