Charlie Gard to die in hospice facility after parents, physicians fail to compromise

A judge ruled 11-month-old Charlie Gard will be sent to a hospice facility and his ventilator will be switched off after his parents and physicians at London-based Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children failed to compromise on the infant's end-of-life care, Reuters reports.

A judge issued a ruling July 26 stating both parties had until noon July 27 to develop an end-of-life care plan for Charlie.

"It is not in Charlie's best interests for artificial ventilation to continue to be provided to him and it is therefore lawful and in his best interests for it to be withdrawn," Judge Nicholas Francis said in an order July 27, obtained by Reuters.

The judge also ruled the name of the hospice facility and details about Charlie's death should not be published, according to the report.

Following the judge's order July 26, the couple sought to find a medical team that could look after the child in hospice for several days so that they could "bid farewell to him just before his first birthday" on Aug. 4, according to the report.

A lawyer for Charlie's court-appointed guardian told the U.K. High Court during proceedings Thursday no hospice could provide care for intensively ventilated children for a long time, meaning Chris Gard and Connie Yates' wish to spend several days with Charlie could not be fulfilled, the report states.

Charlie was diagnosed with infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, an incurable autosomal recessive disorder that causes a drop in an individual's mitochondrial DNA in affected tissues. The disorder has left Charlie with significant brain damage and unable to breathe without a ventilator.

In a July 27 statement following the judge's decision, GOSHC physicians said they "deeply regret that [the] profound and heartfelt differences between Charlie's doctors and his parents have had to be played out in court over such a protracted period. It has been a uniquely painful and distressing process for all concerned. Charlie's parents have tirelessly advocated for what they sincerely believed was right for their son, and nobody could fault them for doing so."

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