Update: Parents of Charlie Gard return to London High Court

Charlie Gard's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard arrive at the Royal Courts of Justice this morning Source: Press Association

Parents of critically-ill British baby Charlie Gard return to London’s High Court today in their final two-day hearing.

Charlie has a rare genetic condition causing progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. His parents have been fighting a legal battle which has brought about a larger debate between the rights of hospitals and of family regarding patient’s fate.

Over the next few days Charlie’s parents will present their final arguments to Judge Nicholas Francis. Francis will decide if they can take Charlie to the United States to undergo experimental therapy.

This story has captured global attention, with both Donald Trump and Pope Francis expressing their support for the parent’s case.

On Saturday, Mary MacLeod, chairman of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) where Charlie is being treated, said thousands of abusive messages including death threats had been sent to staff while families of other sick children had been harassed.

“We are extremely upset by the backlash we have received after Great Ormond Street Hospital put out their statement,” she said. “Like them we have been shocked by some of the public response to this case and agree with them that it is disgraceful that doctors have received death threats.”

This case is not only a debate between one patient’s family and a hospital, but it has now become a story which symbolises a much wider global debate.

Caitlin Fletcher

Source: Reuters: http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-israel-palestinians-idUKKBN1A80CU Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge