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Congress acts to bring Charlie Gard to US

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Family handout  PA Wire

One US politician said the offer of lawful permanent residence meant Charlie, who has brain damage from a rare genetic defect, "can come to the US for world class medical care".

An amendment to grant the family residency was passed unanimously in the House Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday, according to Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, who introduced the amendment.

Gard and his family have been at the center of an worldwide debate over whether governments can make life and death decisions for individuals.

"Once these types of decisions are enshrined into its precedent - the notion, as we are seeing in Charlie's case, that parents are not fit to determine how best to care for their son - people realize that the same thing could happen to them, and that it has literally been stated that it's in Charlie's best interest to die".

They consider it unlikely that Charlie would be allowed to leave the country even if this amendment were approved by both branches of Congress.

Connie Yates is due to attend a meeting of specialists during the next two days organised as part of the latest stage of a court fight over whether Charlie should be given experimental treatment in America.

Charlie's parents also released a photo this week that shows him appearing to look at a toy; the hospital says the boy is blind and can not move.

However, as Charlie is the subject of a High Court order it makes no difference what passport he held, according to legal sources.

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The meeting has been set up after Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in NY, spent around four-and-a-half hours inside the hospital on Monday.

Dr Hirano and an expert from the Pope's hospital in Rome spent five and a half hours trying to talk Charlie's doctors into giving him another chance. "We are not bad parents, we are there for him all the time, we are completely devoted to him and he's not in pain and suffering, and I promise everyone I would not sit there and watch my son in pain and suffering, I couldn't do it".

His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have been fighting to keep their child alive. Hirano presented his expert opinion to the U.K. High Court July 13.

The case gained a great deal of global attention after Pope Francis and President Donald Trump offered their support to 11-month-old Charlie.

Hirano traveled to London to examine Charlie and meet with his doctors and other members of the medical team on Monday and Tuesday. Charlie's life support was scheduled to be turned off June 13 after they lost that appeal.

"Where there's life, there's hope", the priest said, "and we will continue praying for Charlie and his parents".

"When asked what happens to the role of the Guardian if their belief that only they have the right to decide on Charlie's treatment is correct, Charlie's parents answer that he does not need a Guardian because they will speak for him", GOSH complained.

She said she does not want her son to suffer.

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