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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Charlie Gard to be moved to hospice after parents fail to settle hospital dispute over his care

Terminally ill baby is to have his life support withdrawn where he will ‘inevitably’ die soon after, High Court judge rules

Charlie Gard suffers from a rare genetic condition that has left him with brain damage and unable to breathe unaided
Charlie Gard suffers from a rare genetic condition that has left him with brain damage and unable to breathe unaided

British baby Charlie Gard will be moved to a hospice and have his life support withdrawn, London’s High Court has ruled.

Once the terminally ill child has his life support withdrawn, he will “inevitably” die soon after, judge Mr Justice Francis said.

The judge had initially given Charlie’s parents a deadline of noon to agree care plans with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), where he has been receiving treatment.

However, it would appear that Connie Yates and Chris Gard were unable to settle the dispute over their son’s care. Having initially petitioned to take their child home, they then said he should receive life support treatment in a hospice for several days.

Senior staff at GOSH described their wishes as “not in any way viable” and that Charlie’s treatment should end shortly after arriving at the hospice.

The High Court decision indicates both parties failed to come to an agreement.

Earlier this week Charlie’s parents ended their legal fight to take him to the United States for experimental treatment.

Grant Armstrong, the lawyer representing Connie Yates and Chris Gard, told the judge Nicholas Francis that "time had run out" for the 11-month-old.

"For Charlie it is too late. The damage has been done," Mr Armstrong said.

Speaking outside the High Court, Mr Gard described his son as a "warrior" and said he did not believe he would make his first birthday in two weeks time.

Charlie's mother told the court that they had fought to give their baby a chance at life.

She added: "A whole lot of time has been wasted. We are sorry we could not save you."

Mr Gard and Ms Yates made the decision after US neurologist Dr Michio Hirano said he was no longer willing to offer their son experimental treatment, having examined Charlie's latest brain scans.

Judge Francis had scheduled a two-day hearing to consider fresh evidence by Dr Hirano who had come to London from Columbia Medical Center in New York to examine Charlie.

However, Armstrong said that due to delay the "window of opportunity" to treat the child had been lost.

Charlie, who is being cared for at GOSH, suffers from a rare genetic condition that has left him with brain damage and unable to breathe unaided.

In a case which caught the attention of the world, Mr Gard and Ms Yates had hoped to take their son to the US where he would be given nucleoside therapy. Both US President Donald Trump and the Pope had offered to intervene to help Charlie receive the treatment.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital said that Charlie should be taken off life support, which was only prolonging his suffering.