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Baby at centre of life support treatment row 'extremely unwell'

A baby at the centre of a life support treatment dispute is "extremely unwell" and likely to be feeing pain, a High Court judge has been told.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London think it is time to stop providing life support treatment to Charlie Gard, who is nearly eight months old.

Doctors say Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition, should move to a palliative care regime.

Charlie's parents disagree.

Postman Chris Gard and Connie Yates, of Bedfont, west London, want to be allowed to take him to a hospital in America where they hope he can be treated.

Mr Justice Francis is considering evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London before deciding what option is in Charlie's best interests.

A Great Ormond Street specialist told the judge on Monday that Charlie had no spontaneous movements and could not hear.

She said therapy being proposed by doctors in the USA would "very sadly" not help Charlie.

"He is extremely unwell," she said.

"He is having procedures which would cause pain to other people."

She said it was likely Charlie was experiencing pain but was unable to let anyone know.

The Great Ormond Street specialist said Charlie's parents thought that he could make some movements.

But she said she and another specialist had reviewed him a few days ago and could see no spontaneous movements.

She said Charlie had a very rare condition which had proved fatal in other cases.

Babies with the condition lived on average a few months without life support treatment, she said.

Mr Justice Francis has heard that Charlie, who was born on August 4 2016, has a form of mitochondrial disease - a condition which causes progressive muscle weakness.

He had ruled that doctors involved in the little boy's treatment cannot be named.

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