US doctor offering to treat Charlie Gard named as neurology specialist Michio Hirano

An American doctor offering to treat critically-ill baby Charlie Gard can be named for the first time as Michio Hirano.

The judge leading a High Court hearing over the 11-month-old's future today lifted an order which had previously barred UK media from identifying doctors involved in the case.

Dr Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, is offering an experimental therapy trial for the baby's rare genetic condition.

He is expected to fly to London next week to carry out an examination of Charlie in person.

The degenerative disease has left Charlie with brain damage and he relies on a ventilator to keep him alive.

His parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard want their son to be given the chance for treatment which they believe could help his condition.

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, say the treatment will not help and could cause pain.

Charlie's parents want him to undergo experimental treatment. Credit: Gard family

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 Dr Hirano said on Friday that he had no objection to being identified.

Charlie's parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard. Credit: PA

A number of specialists involved in the current High Court hearing are set to meet next week for a detailed discussion over his condition.

Lawyers for GOSH had initially argued that Charlie's parents should not attend the discussion.

However it was later agreed that his mother could take part.

The couple's spokesman, Alasdair Seton-Marsden, said the hospital had "tried to block the parents...from attending a meeting about their own child".

"GOSH seem to want to exclude the parents at every stage," he added.

"We are delighted that Charlie'smother, Connie, will be present at the meeting that Prof. Michio Hirano, the world's leading expert on Charlie's condition, will attend.

"The professor will be flying in from Columbia University Medical Centre, New York, for a meeting this Monday to see Charlie.

"This is excellent news."