Scotland Yard investigates allegations of thousands of abusive messages received by medical professionals
Scotland Yard has been called in to investigate allegations that staff at Great Ormond Street hospital have been bombarded with violent threats and abuse over the case of the baby Charlie Guard
Thousands of abusive messages, including death threats, have been sent to doctors and nurses at the children’s hospital in London, the chair of the hospital revealed. She said that staff were also facing abuse in the street. Families visiting their sick children had also been “harassed and discomfited,” they said.
The staff are being targeted by protesters opposed to Great Ormond Street hospital’s (GOSH) role in the treatment of baby Charlie, where doctors are seeking permission to turn off the youngster’s life-support machine.
Charlie’s parents, 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 an experimental therapy overseen by a specialist in New York. Specialists at GOSH say the therapy would not help and that life-support treatment should stop.
Mary MacLeod, chair of Great Ormond Street hospital, said: “In recent weeks the GOSH community has been subjected to a shocking and disgraceful tide of hostility and disturbance. Staff have received abuse both in the street and online.
“Thousands of abusive messages have been sent to doctors and nurses whose life’s work is to care for sick children. Many of these messages are menacing, including death threats. Families have been harassed and discomforted while visiting their children and we have received complaints of unacceptable behaviour even within the hospital itself
“Great Ormond Street hospital is in close contact with the Metropolitan police and we will do everything possible to hold to account anybody who is involved in this kind of deplorable behaviour.” Mr Justice Francis is scheduled to analyse the most recent evidence at a hearing in the family division of the high court on Monday (Source The Guardian)