Connie Yates and Chris Gard’s legal fight for their son Charlie reached a tragic, but consistent, and in this case all but unavoidable end earlier today. The judge handling the Gard case rejected their bid to take their son home, ordering the couple to reach an agreement on hospice accommodations by noon London time today (7 am ET). The couple withdrew their request, and the judge ordered the hospice transfer:
A British judge ruled Thursday that terminally ill baby Charlie Gard can be transferred to a hospice, marking the end of a months-long legal battle centered on the infant’s right to life.
The 11-month-old’s life-support machines will be turned off shortly after he is moved following the ruling at the High Court in London. Judge Nicholas Francis has banned the identification of the hospice or any of the medical staff treating Charlie.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, Charlie’s parents, were seeking permission to let him die at home, but they gave up on that after objections from the judge who worried about the practical implications for a patient with complex care needs. Charlie has a degenerative genetic disorder that has left him unable to move. He needs a ventilator to breathe.
Gard and Yates had also petitioned for a delay in the removal of the life-support system to give them a few more days with their child. That also got denied, and the judge set a timetable for the transfer and removal of support:
Mr Justice Francis has set a timetable to govern the final period of the boy’s life. Doctors at Great Ormond Street hospital and Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, disagreed over how long he should receive life-support treatment.
Medics said he should move to a hospice soon and life-support treatment should end shortly after his arrival.
His parents wanted more time with him and said he should receive life-support treatment for a number of days. The judge on Thursday made public details of an order that will result in Charlie dying shortly after moving to the hospice.
That’s a consistent action from the court, which has taken the position all along that Gard and Yates had needlessly prolonged Charlie’s life. Both a transfer to the family home and extra days in hospice would have been, in the court’s eyes, a continuation of the status quo they sought to change all along. If one accepts that Charlie has no hope of recovery, and even the doctors who sought to treat Charlie apparently accept that now, then there certainly is a rational basis for questioning the point of either request.
It’s a tragic end for all of the obvious reasons. It has an added sense of tragedy because it seems clear that the court was not willing to accommodate Gard and Yates at all in this final phase. Judge Francis’ position was that Gard and Yates had to negotiate a different plan with Great Ormond Street Hospital by the noon deadline, or that he would order them to follow GOSH’s plan. That left Gard and Yates with no leverage at all; GOSH could simply stand pat and know they’d win in court. That doesn’t allow for much negotiation, which is probably why Gard and Yates withdrew their requests.
Keep everyone involved in the fight over Charlie Gard in prayer. It’s easy to see heroes and villains in this fight, and there are certainly lessons to be learned from a culture where parental rights and desire to provide care can get so easily abrogated by the state. However, we should also acknowledge that this had to be heartbreaking for all involved, and when hearts get broken, an opportunity for grace and knowledge emerges. We can pray for that, and pray for Charlie and his parents as they undergo their real trial in the hours and days ahead.
The post Tragic: Parents lose bid to allow Charlie Gard to die at home appeared first on Hot Air.