Charlie Gard latest: Judge approves plan for terminally ill baby to spend final moments at hospice before life support is withdrawn

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Charlie Gard will be taken to a hospice where his life support will be withdrawn, the judge in the case has said.

On Thursday High Court judge Mr Justice Francis approved a plan which will see Charlie Gard “inevitably” die shortly after being moved to a hospice and having life support treatment withdrawn.

Charlie Gard’s parents today ran out of time to reach an agreement with hospital doctors over their son’s end of life care.

Although both parties agreed Charlie should be taken to a hospice to die,Charlie’s parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard failed to agree with Great Ormond Street Hospital medics the details of his hospice care.

The parents want a private medical team to care for the baby so they can spend some final days with him.

But hospital specialists say it is not in little Charlie’s interests to be taken to a hospice for a long period.

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The parents of Charlie Gard with their son.

The judge had said that if no plan was agreed by noon on Thursday, the baby will move to a hospice and life-support treatment would end soon after.

On Thursday afternoon, he announced a plan had been approved to move the baby to a hospice.

Mr Justice Francis, who has analysed disputes at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court, said the time had come for a decision to be made.

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The parents wanted to take Charlie Gard home to spend their final moments with the terminally ill baby (PA)

Charlie’s parents wanted to be given time to reach agreement over end-of-life plans for their son.

Ms Yates walked out of Wednesday’s hearing in tears after the judge set the timetable.

She yelled: “I hope you are happy with yourselves.”

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Ms Yates and Mr Gard had initially pleaded to take Charlie home to die, but doctors said it was not practical.

Medics said a hospice would be a better plan, and they said life-support treatment should end shortly after Charlie arrived at a hospice.

Lawyers representing the couple on Wednesday told Mr Justice Francis about a change of heart and said the couple now wanted a move to a hospice.

But they said Charlie’s parents were still in dispute with doctors over the detail of hospice care plans.

Grant Armstrong, who led Charlie’s parents’ legal team, said the couple wanted to privately fund care at a hospice where Charlie could continue to receive life-support treatment for days before being allowed to die.

He said a doctor was ready to help and several Great Ormond Street nurses had volunteered their services.

Great Ormond Street bosses said they were not satisfied that a properly-qualified specialist would be in control under Charlie’s parents’ plan.

A lawyer in the couple’s legal team said discussions about mounting an appeal against Mr Justice Francis’s decision not to allow more time were taking place.

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. They said 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 had recently returned to court, saying they had new evidence, and 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”.


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