Posted: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 – 11:26 AM
Terminally-ill British baby Charlie Gard will spend his final days in a hospice, a court heard Wednesday, after his parents dropped their request to take him home, but a dispute continues over his care plans.
Gard’s parents had wanted 11-month-old Charlie to spend his final days at their home in west London after losing a legal bid to take him to the United States for experimental treatment.
The case has generated international interest and drawn the attention of US President Donald Trump and Pope Francis.
But Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), where Charlie is being cared for, said that moving Charlie home for his final days would not be practical and suggested instead that the baby be moved to a hospice.
“GOSH has found an excellent hospice willing to assist that would afford Charlie and his parents the space and privacy necessary to protect them all,” the hospital said in a statement.
“A special area would be made available to them with the option for friends and family to visit”.
The hospital argued that it could not provide round-the-clock care for the baby in the couple’s home and that the “ventilator does not fit through the front door.”
It also said that despite several enquiries, it had been unable to find any other medical facility “prepared to accept Charlie for end of life care”.
The parents and hospital are still at odds, however, over the detail of Charlie’s care plans and were given until Thursday to come to agreement.
The couple fought a long legal fight to allow them to take their child out of GOSH and flu him to the United States, but lost a series of appeals in British courts and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Their legal battle led to offers of help from the United States and the Vatican, leading the hospital to ask the courts for a final assessment of any new evidence.
The parents abandoned their latest court case on Monday, with their lawyers telling the court that “time has run out” and that they had made their decision after seeing Charlie’s latest brain scans.
Charlie suffers from a rare form of mitochondrial disease, which causes progressive muscle weakness in the heart and other key organs.
© Agence France-Presse