Eminent scientist and broadcaster Lord Winston,76, was challenged by Morgan, 52, over the tragic case, saying that the parents of the infant should at least be given a chance to try one last treatment.
The presenter referred to an interview on yesterday’s show in which a father whose child had a variant of the mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome that baby Charlie was allowed to undergo the treatment and as a result is still alive months later.
Morgan explained: “He said, “There’s a tiny chance.’ This is the jist of this story – not withstanding the brilliance of Great Ormond Street and it’s the greatest hospital in the world – isn’t there just a human aspect to this story? What do any of us have to lose to let this boy have this treatment?”
Robert replied: “That’s why you have to respect the autonomy of the parents, that seems to be sacrosanct, the key issue. The problem is that you have to make a judgement about the kind of mitochondrial mutation that is present in those cells. Presumably [the authorities] must have looked at this in some detail. The fact that one child with a different cells has improved doesn’t mean [this child will].”
However, Morgan did not stop as he asked: “There must be a possibly?” Lord Winston responded: “I’m not there. I think the risk of course from a pure bystander, who doesn’t have the same knowledge – in the same way as the Vatican or Trump have that knowledge – you have to assume that decision was taken with great difficulty. You don’t let somebody die if you think there’s a chance.”
He added that the decision made by the medical staff and the courts had to be respected, explaining that it was not a conclusion they would have come to lightly.
Piers Morgan and Robert Winston clash on Good Morning Britain
Robert Winston hit out at the 'interference' of the Vatican and Donald Trump
What do any of us have to lose to let this boy have this treatment?
Lord Winston went onto criticise the Vatican and US President Donald Trump for what he branded their “interference” in the case, saying that it was “unhelpful”.
In response ITV host Morgan admitted: “I’m really concerned as I am torn between my worship of Great Ormond Street but the parent in me – like anyone in this situation – says these parents are desperate to have a go.”
The scientist and Child of Our Time broadcaster warned that undergoing further treatment could be more detrimental to Charlie: “I agree with you. The probability is that this will be even more tragic and even more disturbing for this child to be travelling to Italy or wherever it goes.”
Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan grill Robert Winston Piers Morgan through the years Mon, March 6, 2017
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan in pictures.
REX 1 of 17
Piers Morgan with Take That in 1992
Baby Charlie Gard suffers from a rare genetic condition
Charlie’s parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard
Lord Winston’s appearance comes as the Vatican offered to take in the terminally-ill baby and admit him to its children’s hospital.
President Trump, 71, has also tweeted his support and posted earlier this week on Twitter: “If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.”
The infant has been at the centre of a lengthy legal battle after doctors at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital proposed switching his life support machine off.
Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, took the hospital to court to challenge the decision, pleading with medics to allow Charlie to undergo a therapy trial in the US.
However, the devastated parents lost their fight when the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) refused to intervene – effectively allowing the machines to be switched off.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.