Charlie Gard Judge Has Given Parents and the Opposition a Deadline

Lydia Fleming
July 28, 2017

Connie Yates and Chris Gard had asked to be allowed to to take their son home to die after ending their legal case.

He said that nurses at the Great Ormond Street Hospital have volunteered to care for Charlie at a hospice if the judge agreed to it.

Justice Francis also ruled that if Charlie moves to a hospice, details such as which hospice he had been transferred to and the exact timing of his death will not be made public. The hospital argued that neither allowing Gard to go home with the parents nor the parents' hospice plan were possible and that Gard should be kept at the hospital. Their lawyer accuses Great Ormond Street Hospital of putting obstacles in their way.

The parents abandoned their latest court case on Monday, with their lawyers telling the court that "time has run out" and that they had made their decision after seeing Charlie's latest brain scans.

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Such arrangements will be hard to make, meaning the 11-month-old who has captured the world's attention will likely have his life support removed at a hospice.

"Their fight has resonated with me", he said.

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. Charlie was diagnosed with infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, an incurable autosomal recessive disorder that causes a drop in an individual's mitochondrial DNA in affected tissues.

On Wednesday Mr Justice Francis said that if the parents and the hospital didn't agree an alternate care plan by noon Thursday, Charlie would be transported to a hospice - where he would live for just a few hours.

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"The parents wish for a few days of tranquility outside of a hospital setting", Armstrong said. Yates requested that Gard be released from the hospital into hospice care for a week before being taken off life support.

The parents, who wanted to take the 11-month-old to the USA for experimental treatment, gave up their struggle earlier this week after recent scans showed irreversible damage to his muscles.

The judge said the name of the hospice and when Charlie was admitted would be private. "We can not know if Charlie would have responded to the experimental therapy". The test will be whether Judge Nicholas Francis is convinced it's in the child's best interest, as British law requires. Recent tests found Charlie has irreversible muscular damage.

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