Charlie Gard latest: Judge approves plan for terminally ill baby to spend final moments at hospice

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Charlie Gard will be taken to a hospice where his life support will be withdrawn, the judge in the high-profile case has confirmed.

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which will see Charlie Gard “inevitably” die shortly after being moved to a hospice and having life support treatment withdrawn.

The critically ill tot’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, today ran out of time to reach an agreement with hospital doctors over their son’s end-of-life care.

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

The parents wanted a private medical team to care for the baby so they can spend some final days with him. But hospital specialists said 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 11-month-old to a hospice.

The judge’s order says it is in Charlie’s best interests for life-support treatment to be withdrawn.

It says Charlie should receive palliative care.

The order says Charlie will continue to be treated at Great Ormond Street for a “period” of time before being moved to the hospice, which cannot be named for legal reasons.

It says doctors can then withdraw “artificial ventilation” after a “period” of time.

The order says everyone involved agrees that the “arrangements” will “inevitably result in Charlie’s death within a short period thereafter”.

Mr Justice Francis, who has analysed disputes at hearings in the Family Division of the High Court, had previously 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)

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.”

Ms Yates and Mr Gard had initially pleaded to take Charlie home to die, but conceded a hospice would be a better option after doctors said dying at home was not practical.

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Charlie’s parents announcing they had ended their court case to take their son to the US.(Reuters)

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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