Charlie Gard: Parents and GOSH in stalemate over end of life care

Charlie Gard's parents given until noon tomorrow to agree arrangements for his death
Charlie Gard's parents decide terminally-ill son should spend his final days in a hospice

28 July, 2017

A British judge is set to rule on where Charlie Gard, a baby with a rare genetic disease, will spend the last days of his life.

At yet another contentious High Court hearing yesterday, his mother Connie Yates fled, screaming 'What if this was your child?' after being denied her final wish to take her son home to die.

Great Ormond Street Hospital said it was not practical to provide life-support treatment for days at the couple's home.

Mr Justice Francis said he had been hoping for consensus.

On Wednesday, the lawyer said Gard and Yates had accepted the need to transfer Charlie to a hospice but differences remained over how that should happen.

The parents and hospital are still at odds, however, over the detail of Charlie's care plans and were given until Thursday to come to agreement. They said they'd been told the time during which treatment could have helped their son had passed - while the hospital court battle was going on.

Armstrong said Charlie's parents regarded that as only "a notch better" than the hospital. Nurses from the hospital nonetheless have volunteered to care for him in his final hours.

The child suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease, and can not breathe without help.

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Judge Nicholas Francis issued the order after the boy's parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates gave up their fight for him to die at home, saying "this has been a very very hard decision to reach". The hospital has sought legal permission to remove the life support and allow Charlie to "die with dignity".

Francis says the parents now accept that the only options for their son "are the hospital or the hospice", and called it a "very, very sad conclusion".

According to the Telegraph, the family's lawyer, Grant Armstrong, said that Yates "has been here for these proceedings and in the last 24 hours trying to conduct resources and would like time with Charlie".

The decision follows months of legal argument which culminated in Charlie's parents eventually dropping their battle to take him to the United States for experimental treatment on Monday.

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

"The U.K. medical and legal fields let Charlie languish and deteriorate to the point where treatments that have worked for other children like him no longer had a chance", Schindler said.

Following the hearing, Charlie's godfather James Evers accused GOSH of putting "arduous conditions" in the way of Ms Yates and Mr Gard's wishes. It's known to cause brain damage and muscle weakness.

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