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By Joshua Gill
A retired doctor volunteered to treat Charlie Gard in hospice after Gard’s parents accepted they could not take him home to die.
Barrister Grant Armstrong, legal representation for Gard’s parents, told Justice Francis of the U.K. High Court on Wednesday that nurses from the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and a retired doctor have volunteered to care for Gard in hospice for “a week or so,” according to The Guardian. Connie Yates, Gard’s mother, urged any “pediatric intensive care doctor to come forward” to help Tuesday evening after a hearing in which representatives of GOSH argued that Gard could not be taken home, according to Daily Mail.
“The parents’ last wish is to take Charlie home for a few days of tranquillity outside the hospital,” Armstrong told the court Tuesday. “Provided appropriate medical care is provided to Charlie, Great Ormond Street has no legal right to detain him in hospital. They have put obstacle after obstacle in the parents’ way.”
The court will decide Wednesday whether Gard can be taken home, treated in hospice, or whether, as representatives of GOSH argued, he must remain at the hospital to die.
The hospital contends that the ventilator required to keep Gard alive would not fit through the door of his parents’ home. They also said that a full team of medics and a police escort would be required to transport Gard to his home.
The hospital’s claim about the ventilator is suspect, according to a source from the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) that spoke to Daily Mail. Ventilators used in pediatric units are commonly Maquet Servo Us models, which “are about the size of a PC computer, and they wheel them round hospitals, so they easily fit through doorways” the NHS representative said. “The portable ones are even smaller, about the size of a foot heater, which they use to transfer patients around the world.”
The hospital’s representative, Katie Gollop, argued that hospice services in the U.K. are not “licensed or insured” to care for patients with Gard’s condition, so Gard would have to die the same day he arrived in hospice, dashing the parents’ wish to spend a few days with him.