Court to decide if Charlie Gard's parents can take him home

Charlie Gard Chris Gard and Connie Yates

Technically, the judge will announce his decision on whether to send the child to the hospice soon, but he had said that's what would happen if the hospital and parents didn't reach another agreement, and it appeared the hospital was unwilling to pursue anything the parents wanted.

Mr Gard and Ms Yates had originally asked Mr Justice Francis to rule that Charlie should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in NY.

For practical reasons, Great Ormond Street Hospital said a hospice was the most appropriate place to care for him.

Yates was in court for the hearing before judge Nicholas Francis. It has suggested that he should be removed from life support within hours of being transferred to a hospice.

Yates and Gard had wanted to take him to the United States to undergo experimental treatment, against the advice of Great Ormond Street doctors who said it would only prolong the baby's suffering.

Armstrong said Charlie's parents regarded that as only "a notch better" than the hospital. "May I pay tribute to those nurses for volunteering", he said.

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.

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The child suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disease, and can not breathe without help.

On Wednesday Mr Justice Francis said that if the parents and the hospital didn't agree an alternate care plan by noon Thursday, Charlie would be transported to a hospice - where he would live for just a few hours. Yates requested that Gard be released from the hospital into hospice care for a week before being taken off life support.

Francis says the parents now accept that the only options for their son "are the hospital or the hospice", and called it a "very, very sad conclusion".

"This has been a very, very hard decision to reach", the judge said.

Mr Armstrong said they also have nurses who are willing to care for Charlie - some of whom are from GOSH - and that a company has offered to provide a ventilator.

'Anything that can encourage them to spend the last few days with Charlie rather than with lawyers or experts has to be in everyone's best interests'. His muscles deteriorating, Charlie has been kept alive on a ventilator in a London hospital.

However, after new medical reports were revealed in court last week, Yates and Gard conceded that Charlie no longer has a chance for improvement, and on Monday withdrew their legal fight.

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