Deadline passes: Has Charlie Gard been taken to a hospice?

Judge had said Charlie would be quickly removed from the ventilator

By Dave Andrusko

“We promised Charlie every day we would take him home.

“It seems really upsetting after everything we’ve been through to deny us this.” — Connie Yates, mother of Charlie Gard

A distraught Connie Yates

A distraught Connie Yates

As this is being posted, where little Charlie Gard will die remains unresolved. As NRL News Today has reported in multiple posts, Justice Nicholas Francis, the presiding judge, and the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) have been adamant that Connie and Chris Gard could not bring Charlie home, citing a variety of logistic obstacles, including moving Charlie’s ventilator up the stairs of Connie’s and Chris’ flat.

Moreover, “The London hospital insists the family must find six nurses and three specialist doctors to care for him if they want to manage his final days,” according to Martin Robinson of the Daily Mail.

The Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) told Justice Francis it “has found an excellent hospice.”

On Wednesday Justice Francis said that unless an agreement was reached by noon today–a deadline that has come and gone–the hospital’s recommendation would be granted. The “extubation”–taking Charlie off the ventilator —must occur the day Charlie reaches the undisclosed hospice “for insurance reasons,” according to Robinson.

Connie and Chris had pled with GOSH and Justice Francis to no avail. They wanted four days to say goodbye to their son and wanted a specialist of their choosing (not GOSH’s) to attend Charlie in his final hours.

But Katie Gollup, GOSH’s attorney, said this would not work. She wrote

Charlie is a child who requires highly specialised treatment. His care cannot be simplified. It must be provided in a specialist setting by specialists. It is in Charlie’s best interests, and everybody’s, that the risk of a precipitate, distressing or disordered death is removed so that he may be assured of a peaceful and dignified passing. Yesterday, the hospital consulted the Director of Specialised Commissioning NHSE London who stated that it would not be possible to transfer Charlie whilst invasively ventilated for end of life care at home.

Charlie’s parents, Charlie’s parents’ lawyer, and James Evers, Charlie’s godfather, all challenged the hospital’s assessment of the complexity of moving Charlie and the extraordinary battery of medical personnel that GOSH said would be needed. Robinson reported that Evers

hit out at the “unnecessary hurdles” put in the way of Ms Yates and Mr Gard’s wishes.

He said: “We know (Charlie) is not in pain and suffering, so to set the bar so high that he needs this specialist with him 24/7 is setting a massive hurdle that is totally unnecessary.

“It’s the nurses that look after him 24 hours a day so really that should be enough.”

Nurses from the hospital volunteered to take care of the tot before life support is removed – meaning they would work 12 hour shifts – and the parents’ team have been in touch with ventilator suppliers, the court heard.

We will update this tragic story during the course of today.