Court fails to reach decision in Charlie Gard case

Charlie's parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates are hoping to say goodbye to their son in a hospice

Ainhoa Barcelona

A decision has not been reached over where baby Charlie Gard should spend his final days. On Wednesday afternoon, a High Court judge was set to decide where the terminally ill baby's life would end – in a hospice, at Great Ormond Street Hospital or at home – but no agreement was made. Mr Justice Francis has spent the afternoon hearing arguments and has yet to rule, despite Charlie's parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates hoping for an answer soon. The judge adjourned the hearing for private discussions and members of the press and public were asked to leave the court.

The couple had wanted to take their son home to die after ending their legal case, but doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie is being treated, said it would not be practical to move his life-support treatment to their west London home. A ventilator would not fit through their front door. Doctors recommended taking the 11-month-old baby boy to a hospice.

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Chris and Connie appear to have conceded defeat in their battle to take Charlie home, but their lawyer Grant Armstrong told the court that the parents want sufficient time to say goodbye to their son, who turns one next week. The court heard that Chris and Connie had found a doctor who is willing to care for Charlie in a hospice. The doctor has previous experience working as a surgeon in intensive care and also runs a team including a paediatric doctor.

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Charlie's parents were hoping to take their son home

Mr Armstrong said they also have nurses who are willing to care for Charlie – some of whom are from GOSH – and that a company has offered to provide a ventilator. "Several of the nurses at Great Ormond Street have volunteered to assist in the care of Charlie," he said.

Meanwhile, Katie Gollop QC, who is acting for Great Ormond Street hospital, said the hospital had searched "the length and breadth of the country" for an appropriate medical team who could care for Charlie. The hospital recommended a hospice, but said that life support would be withdrawn after a few hours, contrary to Chris and Connie's wishes of wanting days with their son.

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