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Doctors treating Charlie Gard receive death threats

Doctors and nurses treating terminally ill baby Charlie Gard at Great Ormond Street Hospital have received “menacing” death threats along with thousands of abusive messages.Mary MacLeaod, chair of Great Ormond Street Hospital, said thousands of abusive messages had been sent to doctors and nurses in recent weeks relating to the case.Mr Gard and Ms Yates want Mr Justice Francis to rule that their 11-month-old son, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial overseen by a specialist in NY.Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, are battling with the hospital for the right to take their desperately sick little boy to the U.S. for pioneering treatment, which the hospital opposes because they believe it will only prolong his suffering.Great Ormond Street Hospital says it was compelled to contact police amid concerns for the safety of staff following a tide of “shocking and disgraceful” hostility and disturbance both in the street and at the London medical facility. They are fighting to remove the infant from life support in an attempt to allow him to “die with dignity”.Charlie’s parents, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, have already lost battles in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.The pre-hearing Friday was the latest step in his parents’ long legal battle to give Charlie, who suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome and can not breathe unaided, an experimental treatment.Charlie has been examined by a US doctor who has treated similar cases.Charlie is now being kept alive by doctors at GOSH, who have received thousands of abusive messages, Ms McLeod said. Some of the messages were allegedly so vile that they amounted to little more than death threats against doctors, nurses and staff.Guests at the hospital have also been harassed and discomforted while visiting their children, MacLeod said.”We recognise the tireless advocacy of Charlie’s loving parents and the natural sympathy people feel with his situation”.”Staff have received abuse both in the street and online”, she said.GOSH is in close contact with the Met Police regarding the abuse.Columbia University neurology professor Michio Hirano visited Charlie in London on Monday and Tuesday to examine him and meet with doctors from the hospital.