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Terminally-ill Charlie to spend final days in a hospice, court hears

By Brian Farmer

Charlie Gard will spend the final part of his life in a hospice, a High Court judge has said.

Both his parents and doctors have agreed that he should move to a hospice, Mr Justice Francis heard. But they disagreed over the detail of care plans.

The judge said if an agreement could not be reached by noon today Charlie (above) would be moved to a hospice and life-support treatment would end soon after.

Charlie's mother Connie Yates became distressed as the judge made his decision. She left court crying and said: "I hope you are happy with yourselves."

Ms Yates and Charlie's father Chris Gard had initially said they wanted 11-month-old Charlie to spend his final days with them at home.

But doctors caring for Charlie at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London said it is not practical to provide life-support treatment to Charlie at the couple's home for days. They said a hospice would be a better plan.

Lawyers representing the couple yesterday told the judge overseeing the dispute about a change of heart.

They said the couple now wanted a move to a hospice. But they added Charlie's parents were still in dispute with doctors over the detail of care plans.

Mr Justice Francis began analysing the dispute at a hearing in the family division of the High Court on Tuesday.

He said the time had come for a decision to be made.

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

Mr Gard and Ms Yates, who are aged 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 Hospital said the therapy would not help and believed that life-support treatment should stop.

The couple abandoned their legal fight on Monday after concluding that Charlie had deteriorated to the "point of no return''.

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