Charlie Gard, the sick British boy whose parents’ legal battle against doctors has divided opinions across the globe, will die in hospice care.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates had fought for months against a London hospital’s recommendation that the child be taken off the life support he needs to stay alive with a rare mitochondrial condition.
The parents, who wanted to take the 11-month-old to the U.S. for experimental treatment, gave up their struggle earlier this week after recent scans showed irreversible damage to his muscles.
They had hoped they would be able to take their little boy home for his final moments, though also abandoned that wish on Wednesday.
Children have rights separate from their parents’ wishes under British law, and Judge Nicholas Francis said, “It is in Charlie’s best interests to be moved to a hospice.”
The baby will be transferred and taken off of life support unless the hospital and parents reach an agreement by noon local time tomorrow.
It is unclear how long he will spend in hospice before being taken off life support, with his mother requesting that he could be kept alive for a week.
If no agreement is reached, Wednesday’s decision means that the life support would end soon after Charlie arrives at the hospice.
Connie Yates left the courtroom on Wednesday before the judge’s decision.
“What if it was your child?” she asked.
Though they have said that they will “let our son go and be with the angels,” the parents have also blamed the length of their legal struggles for not allowing Charlie to receive help from Columbia University’s Michio Hirano when it still could have helped.
British doctors said more treatment would just prolong the child’s suffering, though hospitals in New York and the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu both offered to treat him.
With News Wire Services.