Judge allows media to name US specialist offering treatment for Charlie Gard

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A High Court judge has lifted an order which barred journalists from revealing the name of the American specialist who has offered to treat terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard.

Mr Justice Francis on Friday said Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, could be named in media reports.

He made the decision at a High Court hearing in London during the latest stage of a legal dispute between Charlie's parents and London-based doctors.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates want the judge 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 Dr Hirano in New York.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, say the therapy is experimental and will not help.

They say life support treatment should stop.

Mr Justice Francis made an order barring journalists from naming Dr Hirano or saying where he was based shortly after litigation began earlier this year.

Charlie's parents said they were worried publicity might put pressure on Dr Hirano.

But journalists said naming him would be in the public interest - and he said on Friday that he had no objection to being identified as the doctor involved.