Charlie Gard: Parents ‘want to take him home’ for final moments

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Connie Yates and her lawyer arrive at the High CourtImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Connie Yates and Chris Gard’s lawyer said Great Ormond Street Hospital was obstructing attempts to take Charlie home

The parents of terminally-ill Charlie Gard have returned to court to seek permission to take their son home to die.

Lawyers for Chris Gard and Connie Yates told the High Court they wanted “a few days of tranquillity outside the hospital before Charlie passes away”.

They ended their legal case to take him to the US for treatment after being told it was too late to help him.

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has not said when life support will end.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionChris Gard: “We are so sorry we could not save you”

Grant Armstrong said Charlie’s parents “last wish is that Charlie dies at home”.

He told Mr Justice Francis a portable ventilator and oxygen supply could be used for the 11-month-old baby.

Mr Armstrong added that GOSH, where he has been in intensive care since October, “says it won’t stand in the parents way yet is putting up obstacles”.

The judge said Great Ormond Street bosses had indicated that there were practical difficulties and had suggested a “hospice option”.

He added: “These are issues which cry out for settlement.”

Image copyright PA
Image caption Charlie has been in intensive care at Great Ormond Street Hospital since October

Charlie’s parents, from Bedfont, west London, said they have been spending their “last precious moments” with their terminally ill son.

Charlie has encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. He has brain damage and cannot move his arms or legs.

His parents had asked Mr Justice Francis to rule that their son should be allowed to undergo a trial of nucleoside therapy in New York, a move opposed by medics at GOSH who argued the treatment would be “futile”.

The Family Division of the High Court heard on Monday that US neurologist Dr Michio Hirano was no longer willing to offer the experimental therapy after he had seen the results of a new MRI scan last week.

Timeline of legal battle

Image copyright PA
  • 3 March 2017: Mr Justice Francis starts to analyse the case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
  • 11 April: Mr Justice Francis says doctors can stop providing life-support treatment.
  • 3 May: Charlie’s parents ask Court of Appeal judges to consider the case.
  • 23 May: Three Court of Appeal judges analyse the case.
  • 25 May: Court of Appeal judges dismiss the couple’s appeal.
  • 8 June: Charlie’s parents lose fight in the Supreme Court.
  • 20 June: Judges in the European Court of Human Rights start to analyse the case after lawyers representing Charlie’s parents make written submissions.
  • 27 June: Judges in the European Court of Human Rights refuse to intervene.
  • 3 July: The Pope and US President Donald Trump offer to intervene.
  • 7 July: Great Ormond Street Hospital applies for a fresh hearing at the High Court.
  • 24 July: Charlie’s parents end their legal fight to take him to the US for treatment.

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