Charlie Gard's parents return to High Court for permission to 'take him home to die'

11-month-old suffers from extremely rare genetic condition causing progressive brain damage and muscle weakness

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 25 July 2017 11:57
Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Gard
Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie Gard

Charlie Gard's parents are reportedly to return to the High Court to request permission to take him home to die.

They will attend a hearing to decide whether their son should have his life support withdrawn at home or in hospital, The Daily Mail reported.

The 11-month-old baby suffers from an extremely rare genetic condition causing progressive brain damage and muscle weakness, and his parents' long struggle to save him has polarised opinion worldwide.

Charlie Gard: Parents end legal battle over treatment for terminally-ill baby

His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, gave up their legal battle on Monday, saying Charlie's condition had deteriorated too far for any possible recovery.

The couple said they wanted to "spend our last precious moments" with Charlie.

Ms Yates said she did not expect her son to live until his first birthday on 4 August.

Bosses at Great Ormond Street Hospital have not said when Charlie's life-support equipment will be turned off.

But in late June, when litigation appeared to have come to an end after European Court judges refused to intervene in the case, a hospital spokeswoman said there would be "careful planning and discussion" before life-support treatment ended.

Mr Gard and Ms Yates 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 said the therapy would not help and that life-support treatment should stop.

Mr Justice Francis in April ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Charlie's parents subsequently failed to overturn his ruling in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London.

They also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.

But the couple recently returned to court, saying they had new evidence, and asked Mr Justice Francis to change his mind.

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

Charlie Gard's parents, Chris Gard (L) Connie Yates (R), deliver a statement outside the High Court

Ms Yates read a statement during a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

"We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won't make his first birthday in just under two weeks' time," she said.

"Mummy and Daddy love you so much, Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn't save you.

"Sweet dreams, baby.

"Sleep tight, our beautiful little boy."

Additional reporting by PA

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