The mother of 11-month-old Charlie Gard returned to court Tuesday to plead for him to be allowed to die peacefully at home – a day after she and her husband dropped their legal battle to keep the boy alive.
Charlie is expected to be removed from his ventilator at a London hospital in the next few days after his parents tearfully gave up their fight to send him to New York for experimental treatment.
Connie Yates was in the London High Court for a hearing before Judge Nicholas Francis.
Grant Armstrong, the parents’ attorney, said the Great Ormond Street Hospital was placing obstacles in the way of Yates’ and Chris Gard’s wishes to take their son home, Reuters reported.
“We return to the court for perhaps the most difficult emotional part of this case — the circumstances in which Charlie’s passing will be conducted. The parents’ wish is to take Charlie home,” Armstrong told the court.
“We struggle with the difficulties the hospital is placing in the way of the parents having a … short period of time before the final act in Charlie’s short life,” he said.
He said the parents wanted Charlie to experience “tranquility” at the end of his short life, the Telegraph reported.
Hospital attorney Katie Gollop said the couple had rejected an offer of mediation, adding that Great Ormond Street would like to
fulfill the wish of Charlie’s parents “if practical.”
The judge said hospital officials had indicated that there were practical difficulties in releasing Charlie. He said they had suggested a “hospice option,” the paper reported.
“These are issues which cry out for settlement,” Francis said.
Charlie – who suffers from a rare genetic condition causing progressive muscle weakness and brain damage — would turn a year old on Aug. 4, but his parents believe he “unfortunately won’t make his first birthday.”
The couple had hoped to take Charlie to Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan for treatment by Dr. Michio Hirano, who said he believed there was at least a 10 percent chance his nucleoside therapy would improve the boy’s condition.
But British doctors said the therapy would not help, recommending that life-support treatment be stopped.
In April, Francis ruled in favor of the hospital, saying Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.
His parents later failed to overturn his ruling in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London. They also failed to persuade the European Court of Human Rights to intervene.
With Post Wires