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A London judge has ruled the terminally-ill baby will be moved from a hospital to hospice. Charlie’s parents fought to take him to the U.S. for experimental treatment but ended their months-long legal battle this week.
USA TODAY

LONDON — A British judge ruled Thursday that terminally ill baby Charlie Gard should be transferred to a hospice where he will “inevitably” die within a short time.

The ruling marks the end of a months-long legal battle brought by his parents centered on the infant’s right to life. The 11-month-old’s life-support machines will be switched off shortly after he is moved to the hospice. Charlie can’t breathe without a ventilator.

Judge Nicholas Francis did not say when the transfer would happen and placed a media blackout on identifying the hospice or any of the medical staff treating Charlie.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates, Charlie’s parents, were seeking permission to let him die at home, but they gave up on that after objections from the judge who worried about the practical implications for a patient with complex care needs. Charlie’s degenerative genetic disorder has left him unable to move. He is also deaf and blind. 

In an earlier court hearing, the couple conceded that Charlie should be moved to a hospice for end-of-life care, but they had hoped to assemble a team of specialist doctors so they could spend more time with him before his life-support is turned off.

The judge had given Gard and Yates until noon London time (7 a.m. ET) to agree with the hospital on a plan for extended care for Charlie at a hospice. Because they were not able to do that, Francis approved the hospital’s plan to send him to the hospice. 

The couple on Monday ended their legal battle to take Charlie to the…