After abandoning their legal fight to bring their infant son to the United States for experimental treatment, the mother of British infant Charlie Gard and her lawyer returned to court requesting that Charlie be allowed to die at home.
Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, and her lawyer came before a High Court judge on Tuesday, July 25, to ask that the objection of the doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital where Charlie is being taken care of, to home to die be overruled.
The hospital objected to Charlie being taken home on logistical grounds, Justice Nicholas Francis said, and said they suggested hospice instead.
Yates’s lawyer, Grant Armstrong, said the hospital had not yet seen the couple’s apartment to know how suitable it would be for providing end-of-life care, and that they had family in the area who had also offered their homes for Charlie’s care.
The hospital, in a written statement to the judge, said it had yet to see a clear plan from the parents for Charlie’s care and had suggested mediation to resolve the ongoing dispute.
The hospital said the parents did not want mediation.
Yates and her husband, Chris Gard, have been entangled in a five-month legal battle with the doctor over whether they could take their 11-month-old son to the United States to receive experimental treatment.
Charlie was born with a genetic condition called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MMDS), that affected his RRM2B gene.
He requires a ventilator to breath, and doctors said the condition has affected his sight, his hearing, and caused brain damage, facts that the parents contest.
Since November, his doctors have been saying he doesn’t have a chance at a decent quality of life, and suggested that the best thing for the infant would be to let him slip away.
Citing families who had children with similar genetic disorders who were helped by experimental drugs, the parents sought court approval to take Charlie to the United States for treatment by Columbia University neurology professor Dr. Michio Hirano.
Hirano had treated a boy with a similar condition, and had offered to treat Charlie, albeit before examining his medical records.
After recent tests showing that some of Charlie’s muscles had deteriorated beyond recuperation, the parents told the High Court Monday that they would end their legal battle to take him to the United States.
“This is one of the hardest things that we will ever have to say, and we are about to do one of the hardest things that we we’ll ever have to do, which is to let our beautiful Charlie go,” the couple said in prepared remarks to the press.
The judge asked attorneys for the two parties to draft an order for relevant experts to meet and determine what is possible, CNN reports.