The mother of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard left a courtroom in tears after a judge announced that her baby will die in hospice unless a deal is struck with Great Ormond Street Hospital by midday Thursday.
This week, Chris Gard and Connie Yates announced that they were giving up the fight for their son’s life. After months of battling European courts and the hospital for the right to take Charlie to the United States to get an experimental therapy they hoped might save him, they got devastating news: time had run out for Charlie. The months of court battles and lack of treatment had allowed Charlie to deteriorate to “the point of no return.” Now the parents want to take Charlie out of the hospital and into hospice to die.
Since hospices are not usually set up to keep babies in Charlie’s condition alive, his parents hoped a team of doctors and nurses could move him from Great Ormond Street Hospital to a hospice where the family wishes to spend Charlie’s final days. Originally, Gard and Yates wanted to take Charlie home to spend his final days in peace. After losing their final battle to get Charlie treatment in the European Court of Human Rights, they were told that their son would be taken off life support against their wishes. Their request to take him home was also denied.
Now, after dropping their appeal, Gard and Yates initially wanted to take Charlie home again. Upon learning that the judge was unlikely to allow that, they requested a team of medical professionals to transport Charlie out of Great Ormond Street Hospital into hospice. However, as with the rest of their battle for Charlie, the decision is not up to the parents: they will need the permission of the High Court to have Charlie moved.
The hospital has fought the parents’ efforts to allow Charlie to be taken home, saying that there was no pediatrician with intensive care experience willing to care for Charlie at home and that Charlie’s ventilator will not fit through the door of their home. However, Grant Armstrong, the lawyer representing Gard and Yates, told the court that the family has found a surgeon with the requisite experience, and nurses from Great Ormond Street Hospital have volunteered to continue working with Charlie.
Gard and Yates have until 12:00 p.m. on Thursday to come to an agreement with the hospital as to where Charlie will spend his final days.