Judge to decide where Charlie Gard will end his life


A High Court judge is set to decide where terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard will end his life after the little boy's parents and hospital bosses became embroiled in a new legal fight.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard want their 11-month-old son to spend his last days with them at home before dying.

But doctors caring for Charlie at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London said it is not practical to provide the level of life-support treatment to Charlie at the couple's home for days.

The issues include that his ventilator would not fit through their front door and so they said a better plan would be for Charlie to move to a hospice.

Mr Justice Francis analysed the dispute at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court on Tuesday and said he will make a decision on Wednesday if agreement cannot be reached.

He said having heard the evidence, the chances of Charlie's parents' wishes being fulfilled were small.

The hearing is due to resume at 2pm.

Charlie's parents became embroiled in the new fight with doctors a day after abandoning attempts to persuade the judge to let their son travel to America for experimental treatment.

Barrister Grant Armstrong, who leads the couple's legal team, suggested to Mr Justice Francis that hospital bosses were placing obstacles in Charlie's parents' way.

"The parents wish for a few days of tranquillity outside of a hospital setting," Mr Armstrong said.

"The parents had hoped that Great Ormond Street would work with them.''

He said the couple felt there was a ''brutality'' in taking Charlie to a hospice.

Barrister Katie Gollop QC, who leads Great Ormond Street's legal team, said staff were not creating "obstacles".

She said nothing could be further from the truth - she said staff had "moved heaven and earth" for Charlie.

But she said the couple's needs had to be balanced against Charlie's best interests.

She said Great Ormond Street staff had found an ''excellent hospice'' which would give Charlie and his parents the space, privacy and protection they needed.

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 they 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''.