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Anguish of Charlie Gard's mother as judge sets timetable for end of his life

26 July 2017 5:51 PM
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Anguish of Charlie Gard's mother as judge sets timetable for end of his life

Update 7.36pm Charlie Gard's mother yelled in anguish as a High Court judge set a timetable for the end of the terminally-ill baby's life.

Mr Justice Francis said Charlie would move to a hospice if his parents and doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London could not settle a dispute over where he would spend his last days by noon on Thursday.

The judge said life-support treatment would end shortly after Charlie arrived at the hospice.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard wanted to be given time to reach agreement over end-of-life plans for their son.

Ms Yates walked out of what could be the final court hearing in Charlie's case on Wednesday, after the judge said a decision had to be made.

Ms Yates and Mr Gard had initially said they wanted 11-month-old Charlie to spend days with them at home before dying.

Update 17.02pm: 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.

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.

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

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.

Earlier:A High Court judge asked to decide where terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard will end his life has started hearing proposals put forward by the little boy's parents.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard want their 11-month-old son to spend his last days with them at home before dying.

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.

Mr Justice Francis analysed the dispute at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court on Tuesday and says he will make a decision on Wednesday if agreement cannot be reached.

Barrister Grant Armstrong, who leads Charlie's parents' legal team, indicated that a doctor with intensive care experience had been found.

He told Mr Justice Francis that Great Ormond Street nurses had volunteered to help.

Mr Armstrong said the plan was for the doctor to have discussions with Great Ormond Street staff shortly.

"There is a doctor currently travelling... to be here at court," said Mr Armstrong.

"Several of the nurses at Great Ormond Street have volunteered to assist in the care of Charlie."

Mr Armstrong had on Tuesday suggested to Mr Justice Francis that hospital bosses were placing obstacles in Charlie's parents' way.

"The parents wish for a few days of tranquillity outside of a hospital setting," Mr Armstrong said.

He said the couple felt there was a ''brutality'' in taking Charlie to a hospice.

Barrister Katie Gollop QC, who led Great Ormond Street's legal team, said staff were not creating obstacles.

She said nothing could be further from the truth - she said staff moved heaven and earth for Charlie.

But she said the couple's needs must be balanced against Charlie's best interests.

She said Great Ormond Street staff had found an excellent hospice which would give Charlie and his parents the space, privacy and protection they needed.

Mr Gard and Ms Yates, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, had 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.

But the couple returned to court recently, saying they had new evidence, and they asked Mr Justice Francis to change his mind.

They abandoned their legal fight on Monday after concluding that Charlie had deteriorated to the ''point of no return''.

Source: irishexaminer.com

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