NRL News

Hospital placing “obstacles” in the way of bringing Charlie home to die

by | Jul 25, 2017

‘The parents had hoped that Great Ormond Street would work with them,’ their lawyer says

By Dave Andrusko

Frankly, if I had not closely followed the way the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London had treated the parents of little Charlie Gard, I would not have believed what took place this morning in the courtroom of Justice Nicholas Francis.

GOSH has won everything. The hospital convinced Justice Francis that it was in Charlie’s “best interest” to die. Then GOSH successfully thwarted the attempts of Connie Yates and Chris Gard to have Charlie transferred to an American hospital to undergo experimental nucleoside therapy to address his exceptionally rare and debilitating chromosomal condition –encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS)–in which his cells cannot replenish essential energy.

Yesterday Connie and Chris reluctantly, tearfully agreed: it was too late. Charlie had not been treated, allowing “his illness to deteriorate, sadly, to the point of no return,” as Connie told Justice Francis.

All the parents are asking is to allowed to take their child home to die. No can do, says the hospital’s lawyer, Katie Gollup. (Victoria Butler-Cole, the attorney representing Charlie’s guardian, was her typically unhelpful self, according to tweets provided this morning by legal expert Joshua Rozenberg.)

Problems with moving Charlie? (And, no, I am not making this up). According to Sky News

The judge deciding the case, Mr. Justice Francis, said that part of the disagreement appeared to be over GOSH’s view that a ventilator will not fit through the front door of the property to which Charlie’s parents want to take him.

(They live in a flat in Bedfont, south-west London.)

Gollup’s submission to the court

said that the hospital believes that the intensive ventilation he requires to live can only be provided in a hospital setting and “cannot be provided at his parents’ home.”

GOSH has worked assiduously since April to ensure that Charlie gets dead. Now, not only can the ventilator supposedly not fit through the front door (and, to repeat, I am not making this up), the only way Charlie’s ventilator can be properly provided is in a hospital setting.

Remember, last week, Justice Francis conceded that Connie has spent 3,200 hours with Charlie. She is unable to ensure that Charlie’s ventilator works properly? Chris, who has put in almost as much time, is also of no use to his son? Give me a break.

Charlie is not expected to live until August 4, his first birthday. Time is very, very short.

According to the Daily Mail, Grant Armstrong, counsel for Charlie’s parents, said

‘The parents’ last wish is to take Charlie home.

‘The parents wish for a few days of tranquility outside the hospital setting…before what the lawyers describe as extubation – the process by which Charlie will subsequently expire.

‘Yesterday the hospital said we won’t stand in the way as long as you can sort it out’.

He added that in April [a possible] US transfer was ‘not an obstacle to the care of Charlie but for some reason transfer from a hospital in central London to an outlying part of London seems to be problematic’.

Armstrong concluded

‘I can’t see what the problem is. On one hand saying they are not standing in the parents’ way, and on the other putting obstacles in the way which can’t be surmounted.’

‘The parents had hoped that Great Ormond Street would work with them.’

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