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US doctor meets with specialists treating Charlie Gard


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LONDON (AP) — An American doctor specializing in treating rare genetic conditions is meeting with other specialists treating Charlie Gard, assessing the critically ill 11-month-old for the first time.

Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University will talk with doctors from Great Ormond Street Hospital and the child's mother, Connie Yates, on Monday and Tuesday.

The hospital gave Hirano an honorary contract, which gives him the same status as its own physicians. Under the arrangement, Hirano and another doctor, whose name is protected by court order, will be allowed to examine Charlie and have access to his medical records and hospital facilities.

The parents have fought in court for permission to take the child to the United States for treatment. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital argue that a new treatment won't help and could make the child suffer.

Charlie suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease that has left him brain-damaged and unable to breathe unaided.

Hirano's visit was organized during a court hearing last week after he testified the treatment was worth a try.

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