Charlie Gard's parents seek court permission to bring son home to die

by Jared Lewis July 28, 2017, 0:15

Connie Yeats at court today.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard hold hands as they arrive at the High Court in London July 24. Even then, as MRC reported, when a judge revisited Charlie's case, the networks spent more time on a picture of Beyoncé's twins than on the British infant.

A judicial office spokesman said he did not know what the hearing was about.

Mr Armstrong told the court Charlie is due to spend "a week or so" in the hospice before the life support machine is turned off.

Great Ormond Street bosses wanted Charlie to stay at a hospice for a shorter period.

Relatives said an appeal had been mounted for a specialist to come forward.

The hospital told a court on Tuesday that the primary problem to Charlie being taken home to die was that his life support can only be maintained in a "specialised" setting.

"The American and Italian team were still willing to treat Charlie after his recent brain MRI and EEG performed last week, but there is one reason why treatment can not now go ahead, and that is time", they said.

Mr Justice Francis analysed the dispute at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court on Tuesday.

The hospital argued that it had "moved heaven and earth" to fulfill the parents' wishes, but said that no intensive care pediatric doctor in the country was able or willing to supervise his care at home. Mr Justice Francis agreed saying the hospital was "doing everything it can".

Chris and Connie's lawyer Grant Armstrong said Charlie could be given a portable ventilator and oxygen supply.

In the months that followed, Charlie's parents and the Great Ormond Street Hospital continued their way through the British court system, and after exhausting all legal options in the United Kingdom, the case went to the European Court for Human Rights.

Instead, the hospital suggested moving Charlie to hospice.

The baby has been treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, one of the world's leading children's hospitals. "[Their] primary position is that Charlie's final days of palliative care... should take place at the family home".

Barrister Katie Gollop QC, who led Great Ormond Street's legal team, said staff were not creating obstacles. Doctors there say Charlie is in pain and further treatment would only increase his suffering. She said the idea was not realistic.

His parents wouldn't have been forced to make "this gut-wrenching, heartbreaking choice" if the hospital had respected their wishes from the beginning and allowed them to continue Charlie's care elsewhere.

Doctors at Great Ormond Street said the therapy would not help.

Will Charlie Gard be allowed to go home to die?

But, it was revealed at the time in court, that the legal battle staged by the hospital against the parents essentially consumed the critical time that the baby should have been getting treatment.

British courts and the worldwide European Court of Human Rights had come down against the attempt to get the baby help.

Ms Yates and Mr Gard had initially said they wanted 11-month-old Charlie to spend days with them at home before dying.


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