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British Death Panel Unmoved As House Grants Charlie Gard U.S. Legal Permanent Residence

The worldwide effort to save disabled British baby Charlie Gard from Britain’s Great Ormand Street hospital death panel achieved a small victory yesterday as the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment granting Charlie and his family legal permanent residence in the United States.

Charlie Gard parentsNews of the passage of the amendment came from Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, who tweeted: “We just passed amendment that grants permanent resident status to #CharlieGard and family so Charlie can get the medical treatment he needs.”

However, British legal sources said Charlie is the subject of a High Court order and it made no difference what passport he held.

And last Friday, the judge made it clear it would be illegal for Charlie to travel to America without his permission reports the U.K. Daily Mail.

The parents' British attorney, Grant Armstrong, said the parents were of the view that legally it was up to the hospital to change its mind and allow Charlie to be transferred.

But the judge, Mr. Justice Francis, said the effect of the various rulings meant the court's permission was required. “It would be entirely wrong for him to be transferred without my being involved,” said the judge, according to the Daily Mail.

British doctors claim Charlie is blind, deaf, unable to move and badly brain-damaged and believe it is “cruel” to let him live any longer.

Renowned US neuroscientist Dr. Michio Hirano and an expert from the Pope's hospital in Rome recently spent five and a half hours examining Charlie.

Dr. Hirano, from the Columbia University Medical Center, is offering to try an experimental therapy on Charlie.

It has never been tested on any human or animal.

Dr. Hirano is at the forefront of researching Charlie's rare form of mitochondrial disease, and told the High Court last week there was a 'small but significant' chance of improvement.

Despite Dr. Hirano’s cautious optimism that Charlie might be saved and the desperate efforts of Charlie’s parents to convince Great Ormand Street Hospital’s death panel to release him to Hirano’s care, British authorities appear unmoved.

According to reporting by the Daily Mail a Great Ormand Street Hospital death panel spokesman said its position had not changed since last week, when it said Charlie had “no quality of life and no real prospect of any quality of life.”

Charlie has survived three decisions to withdraw his ventilator, but was saved each time by appeals by his parents and interventions from Pope Francis and Donald Trump. Then Dr. Hirano and six fellow experts wrote to Great Ormand Street Hospital offering “new evidence,” and the High Court reconvened reports the Daily Mail.

The judge is expected to render his next verdict next Monday or Tuesday.

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