The parents of Charlie Gard have accused Great Ormond Street Hospital of “denying us our final wish” after a High Court judge approved a plan which will see their son moved to a hospice without intensive medical support.
Connie Yates and Chris Gard had attempted to secure Charlie several days of life support treatment in a hospice, with doctors and nurses volunteering their services.
But the request was opposed by Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), who said the plans were not “in any way viable”.
Mr Justice Francis announced his decision in a statement on Thursday after Charlie’s parents and doctors at GOSH had reached a state of deadlock over the plans for the terminally-ill baby.
In a statement after the decision, Ms Yates detailled how two doctors came forward to offer help, and with a team of intensive care nurses, they were able to “grant Chris and I our final wish which was to spend a few days to make precious memories with our beloved son away from the hospital environment”.
She added that since the judge agreed with the hospital it “gives us very little time with our son”. “GOSH have denied us our final wish,” the statement began.
“We just want some peace with our son, no hospital, no lawyers, no courts, no media, just quality time with Charlie away from everything to say goodbye to him in the most loving way.
“Most people won’t ever have to go through what we have been through, we’ve had no control over our son’s life and no control over our son’s death.”
Great Ormond Street Hospital said on Thursday it deeply regrets “that 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 said: “Sadly, as the judge has now ruled, there is simply no way that Charlie, a patient with such severe and complex needs, can spend any significant time outside of an intensive care environment safely.
“The risk of an unplanned and chaotic end to Charlie’s life is an unthinkable outcome for all concerned and would rob his parents of precious last moments with him.”
It added: “Every single one of us wishes there could have been a less tragic outcome.”
Charlie’s parents have said they do not expect him to live to see his first birthday on August 4.
GOSH doctors said it was not practical to provide life-support treatment to Charlie at the couple’s home. They said a hospice would be a better plan, and that life-support treatment should end shortly after Charlie arrived, claiming it is not his interests to spend a long period in a hospice.
Lawyers representing the couple on Wednesday told Mr Justice Francis they had conceded that Charlie should be moved to a hospice, but were unable to resolve the dispute over details of his care plans.
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.
The couple, who are 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 GOSH said it was responsible for sparing Charlie unnecessary pain, that the therapy would not help and that life-support treatment should stop. Mr Justice Francis in April ruled in favour of GOSH 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 had recently returned to court, saying they had new evidence, and asked Mr Justice Francis to change his mind.
They abandoned their legal fight on Monday after concluding that Charlie had deteriorated to the “point of no return”.