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Retirement

UK hospital says baby Charlie Gard's care cannot be provided at home

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LONDON (Reuters) - The London hospital treating terminally ill baby Charlie Gard told a court on Tuesday that the key obstacle to Charlie being taken home to die was that the invasive ventilation he requires can only be provided in a hospital setting.

The 11-month-old baby suffers from an extremely rare genetic condition and a bitter dispute between his parents and the hospital has made international headlines, drawing comment from U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis among many others.

Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, on Monday abandoned their legal fight to prolong their son’s life but Yates was back in court on Tuesday for yet another harrowing hearing, this time on his end-of-life care plan.

“The care plan must be safe, it must spare Charlie all pain and it must protect his dignity. At the same time, the plan must honor his parents’ wishes about two matters in particular namely the time and place of his passing,” the hospital’s lawyers wrote in a document presented to the court.

The document said that the invasive ventilation Charlie required was only provided in a hospital setting. Among other practical problems, it said, the ventilator would not fit through the front door of Charlie’s home.

“Charlie is a child who requires highly specialized treatment. His care cannot be simplified. It must be provided in a specialist setting by specialists,” the document said.

Reporting by Michael Holden and Estelle Shirbon; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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