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UK judge to decide whether Charlie Gard can go home to die

The parents have been fighting to take the child home, whereas the hospital believes that this decision will cause more damage to Charlie's already critical condition

26 July 2017, 9:27am
Charlie Gard with his parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard
Charlie Gard with his parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard
A UK judge will rule on Wednesday on where baby Charlie Gard will pass away, unless a final attempt by his parents to bring him home is successful.

The 11-month-old, who suffers from a rare genetic condition, has been at the centre of a controversial dispute between the London hospital taking care of him and his parents.

The case has resonated far and wide, drawing comment from leaders like the Pope and US president Donald Trump.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard, Charlie’s parents, want to take their baby home with them before the child’s tubes are removed.Great Ormond Street Hospital, where the baby is currently being hospitalised, said on Tuesday that this was impractical and impossible.

The High Court judge overseeing the case gave the parents until Wednesday to find a team of specialists willing to oversee Charlie’s care at home.

Failing that, a ruling will be passed on where Charlie’s life should end. It was indicated that the judge is leaning towards sending the baby to a hospice- an option supported by the hospital and preferred by the parents to a hospital death.

A desperate appeal was made by Yates on Tuesday, where she begged for a medical team to come forward to bring Charlie home.

"We promised Charlie every day we would take him home," she was quoted as saying by British media. "It seems really upsetting after everything we've been through to deny us this."

Great Ormond Street, a renowned center for the treatment of sick children, said it has tried all it can to make it possible for Charlie to die at home, but the logistical challenges could not be overcome.

Both parents had initially wanted to take Charlie to the US to undergo experimental treatment, against the advice of the hospital, who contended that it would only serve to prolong the baby’s suffering.

The European Court of Human Rights and the British Courts supported the hospital’s decision, saying the parent’s plan was not in Charlie’s best interest.

The legal battle came to an end on Monday, when latest scans showed Charlie’s condition has deteriorated to the point that no recovery was possible.Yates and Gard remain adamant, saying the treatment might have helped their child had he received treatment months ago.