Days after his mother pleaded for him to be allowed to die peacefully at home, a British judge ruled that 11-month-old Charlie Gard will end his days in hospice.
High Court judge Nicholas Francis said Wednesday that the terminally ill child will be taken off life support and moved to hospice unless his parents and the hospital can agree on an end-of-life care plan by noon Thursday, The Associated Press reported.
“It is in Charlie’s best interest to be moved to hospice,” the judge said.
Francis hopes the Thursday deadline will push the sick child’s parents and the hospital to reach an agreement on what should happen after the baby is moved to hospice. Otherwise, the ventilation system keeping him alive will be turned off after he is transferred.
“What if this was your child?” Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates sobbed, leaving the courtroom before the judge gave his ruling. “I hope you are happy with yourselves.”
Yates and Charlie’s father, Chris Gard, spent months trying to convince Great Ormond Street Hospital to let Charlie travel to the US for experimental treatment, but gave up on that fight Monday when the parents said it was “too late” for experimental treatments to work.
Yates returned to court Tuesday to plead that her baby, whose first birthday is next week, be allowed to die at home.
Francis says the parents now accept that the only options for their son “are the hospital or the hospice,” and called it a “very, very sad conclusion.”
The baby, who suffers for a rare genetic condition causing progressive muscle weakness and brain damage, is not expected to live for more than a couple of hours once his ventilator is turned off.
The child’s case garnered national attention after President Trump and Pope Francis tweeted their support and the family raised $1.8 million in donations to take him across the Atlantic.
A New York hospital had offered to provide experimental treatment if the family was allowed to come to the US and the House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed an amendment to grant them permanent residency.