Charlie Gard to spend final days in a hospice, parents decide

Charlie Gard will spend final days in hospice. Picture: PA Wire
Charlie Gard will spend final days in hospice. Picture: PA Wire
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Charlie Gard’s parents have decided that their terminally-ill baby son should spend his final days in a hospice, a High Court judge has been told.

READ MORE - Leader comment: Tragic case of Charlie Gard

Connie Yates and Chris Gard had said they wanted 11-month-old Charlie to spend his final days with them at home.

But doctors caring for Charlie at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London say it is not practical to provide life-support treatment to Charlie at the couple’s home for days.

They say a hospice would be a better plan.

Lawyers representing the couple on Wednesday told a High Court judge overseeing the dispute about a change of heart.

They said the couple now wanted a move to a hospice.

But they said Charlie’s parents were still in dispute with doctors over the detail of care plans.

Mr Justice Francis began analysing the dispute at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court and said he would make a decision if agreement could not be reached.

Barrister Grant Armstrong, who leads Charlie’s parents’ legal team, indicated that the couple wanted to privately fund treatment at a hospice where Charlie would stay for a number of days before life-support treatment was ended.

Great Ormond Street bosses wanted Charlie to stay at a hospice for a shorter period.

Mr Armstrong said Great Ormond Street bosses were not satisfied that a properly qualified specialist would be in charge under the couple’s plan.

Mr Justice Francis asked journalists and members of the public to leave the court for a short period.

He said he wanted to give parties the chance to air thoughts privately.

Mr Gard and Ms Yates, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, had originally asked Mr Justice Francis to rule that Charlie should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in New York.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street said the therapy would not help and that life-support treatment should stop.

Mr Justice Francis in April ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Charlie’s parents subsequently failed to overturn his ruling in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.

They also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.

The couple returned to court recently, saying they had new evidence and asking Mr Justice Francis to change his mind.

But they abandoned their legal fight on Monday after concluding that Charlie had deteriorated to the ‘’point of no return’’.