Hospital staff 'to spend days' planning withdrawal of Charlie Gard life support

Hospital staff 'to spend days' planning withdrawal of Charlie Gard life support

Hospital bosses say staff are likely to spend days planning the withdrawal of life-support treatment from a terminally ill baby at the centre of a high-profile legal battle.

Hospital staff 'to spend days' planning withdrawal of Charlie Gard life support

Chris Gard and Connie Yates (pictured below), who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, wanted their 10-month-old son Charlie Gard, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, to undergo a therapy trial in the US.

Hospital staff 'to spend days' planning withdrawal of Charlie Gard life support

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where Charlie is being cared for, said therapy proposed by a doctor in the US was experimental and would not help. They said life-support treatment should stop.

Charlie's parents had asked European court judges in Strasbourg, France, to consider their claim after judges in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street doctors.

But on Tuesday the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene.

Great Ormond Street bosses say their priority is to support Charlie's parents.

"Our priority in situations like this is to work closely with the family to discuss the next steps in their child's care," said a hospital spokeswoman.

"In Charlie's case we have been discussing for many months how the withdrawal of treatment may work.

"Discussions and planning in these situations usually take some days, based on the experience of our clinical teams."

Well-wishers are continuing to donate to an internet fund Charlie's parents launched in a bid to pay for treatment in America.

The couple have raised nearly £1.4m after launching an appeal on the GoFundMe website four months ago, and people are continuing to give money despite the court rulings.

More than £600 has been donated since the European court judges announced their decision.

Charlie's mother has suggested the money might be used to set up a charity.

A GoFundMe spokesman said officials will have discussions with Charlie's parents about what will happen to the money

A High Court judge ruled in April against a trip to America and in favour of Great Ormond Street doctors.

Mr Justice Francis concluded that life-support treatment should end and Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Three Court of Appeal judges upheld that ruling and three Supreme Court justices dismissed a further challenge by the couple.

Mr Justice Francis made a ruling after a trial in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

He heard that Charlie, who was born on August 4 last year, has a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

Specialists in the US had offered a therapy called nucleoside.

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