By Rachel Elbaum, Nick Bailey and Associated Press
LONDON — A British judge ordered that critically ill infant Charlie Gard should be moved from a hospital to a hospice, where he will "inevitably" die within a short time.
Judge Nicholas Francis made the order after a noon Thursday deadline for Charlie's parents and a hospital to agree an end-of-life care plan came and went. The judge said that meant the 11-month-old, who has a rare genetic disease, should now be transferred to a hospice and taken off life support.
Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have been fighting with the hospital on his end of life arrangements. The parents and the hospital disagreed with how long Charlie would have in hospice before his breathing tube is removed.
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Great Ormond Street Hospital said on Tuesday that it had found a hospice willing to care for Charlie. However, it said that due to the invasive ventilation that Charlie needs, the hospice would be unable to provide care for more than a period of hours. Charlie's parents argued they had found a team of medical professionals willing to help Charlie at a hospice for up to a week.
"We deeply regret 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," a hospital spokesperson said in a statement. "It has been a uniquely painful and distressing process for all concerned."
"Charlie’s parents have tirelessly advocated for what they sincerely believed was right for their son, and nobody could fault them for doing so."