Charlie Gard's parents upset by 'backlash' over Great Ormond Street death threats

Staff at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London have received death threats in relation to the Charlie Gard case

Protesters who want critically ill British baby Charlie Gard to receive an experimental medical treatment rallied Sunday, while hospital officials say emotions are running so high in the heart-breaking case they have received death threats.

Activists supporting Gard's parents gathered outside the High Court in London, where legal proceedings will resume Monday.

A British court is expected to decide next week whether baby Charlie can be taken to the USA for treatment after other British and European courts said the infant's life support should be ended so that he can die with dignity.

Doctors and nurses have been subjected to abuse in the street and received thousands of threatening messages in recent weeks, the hospital's chairwoman Mary MacLeod said on Saturday.

Charlie, who is 11 months old, suffers from a rare genetic condition which causes progressive muscle weakness.

That prompted an angry outburst from Charlie's father, Chris Gard, and prompted his mother, Connie Yates, to burst into tears.

"The GOSH community has been subjected to a shocking and disgraceful tide of hostility and disturbance".

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour MP for the area, said it was "understandable that people feel very strongly about the case" but the abuse of staff was "totally unacceptable".

Guests at the hospital have also been harassed and discomforted while visiting their children, MacLeod said.

'Despite conflicting issues, we have always had the utmost respect for all the staff who work tirelessly at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the very hard jobs they do everyday. Staff have received abuse both in the street and on line.

"Great Ormond Street Hospital is in close contact with the Metropolitan Police and we will do everything possible to hold to account anybody who involved in this kind of deplorable behaviour".

The case has garnered global attention and even drawn comment from President Donald Trump and Pope Francis. "We fully understand that there is intense public interest, and that emotions run high", she added.

British and European courts have so far backed the doctors' position, ruling that transferring Charlie to the US would prolong suffering without a realistic prospect of success.

On Friday the court heard that a new MRI scan on Charlie made for "sad reading".

Dr. Michio Hirano, the medical director of the Laboratory of Metabolic and Mitochondrial Disease in NY who flew to the United Kingdom to assess Charlie, argued last week that his experimental drugs still had a chance of helping the boy.

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