A European court has overruled the parental rights of 10-month-old Charlie Gard’s parents, saying that they could not take the child from Britain to the US for a shot that might save his life. Instead, the court basically said the couple had to stay in the UK and watch their baby boy die, but US President Donald Trump spoke up!
“If we can help little
#CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so,” Trump tweeted out on Monday.
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017
According to reports, Charlie Gard suffers from a rare disease called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. It is said that he is one of only sixteen people to have ever had the disease and apparently, both of his parents were carrying the faulty gene that was passed on to little Charlie. Charlie is in the “terminal stages” of the disease.
According to OMIM (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man), which is authored and edited at the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, under the direction of Dr. Ada Hamosh, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome is “an autosomal recessive disorder characterized primarily by childhood onset of muscle weakness associated with depletion of mtDNA in skeletal muscle. There is wide clinical variability; some patients have onset in infancy and show a rapidly progressive course with early death due to respiratory failure, whereas others have later childhood onset of a slowly progressive myopathy (Oskoui et al., 2006).”
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, Charlie’s parents, have been fighting for the life of their son and they’ve had lots of supporters stand with them. Though doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital claim that Charlie should be allowed to die and petitioned for permission to switch his ventilator off, Gard and Yates supporters raised a whopping £1.3million ($1680770.00) so he can be sent to America for treatment, but the court said no.
In addition to Trump offering help, the Vatican said they would offer assistance as well.
What’s so hypocritical in all of this is the same doctors that want to remove the ventilator from Charlie and “let him die in dignity,” as they put it, won’t let Charlie fly to Italy, and sadly, Prime Minister Theresa May supports such a decision.
The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: “This is a very sensitive case. I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to talk about it here at this point other than to say our thoughts are with him and his family.”
It wouldn’t be appropriate to talk about it in the light of day and actually have to answer questions of why you would side with doctors in a situation where you know the child is going to die or give him a chance and let him make the journey to the US for help that might just save his life? This is outrageous!
The Guardian reports:
Talking about the possibility of Charlie being sent to the US, Malhotra asked May: “Would the prime minister do all she can to bring the appropriate people together to try and make this happen?”
Saying her thoughts were with the infant and his family, May said she could “fully understand and appreciate that any parent in these circumstances would want to do everything possible and explore every option for their seriously ill child”.
The prime minister added: “But I also know that no doctor ever wants to be placed in the terrible position where they have to take such heartbreaking decisions.
“The honourable lady referred to the fact that we have that court process here. I’m confident that Great Ormond Street hospital have and will always consider any offers on new information that has come forward, with consideration of the wellbeing of a desperately ill child.”
Wait, these doctors are petitioning to have his ventilator removed and let him “die in dignity.” They are not interested in the child’s “wellbeing.” If they were, they would allow the family to exercise their parental rights and transport their son to the States for possible treatment that might save his life.
Notice to that May did not answer the direct question to her, but deflected.
Chris Gard told the High Court: “My son is the apple of my eye and I would do anything for him.”
Gard and Yates claim their son is a “prisoner” at the hospital and that his treatment has been “inhuman.”
This couple is doing what any parent would do in this case, seek to save the life of their child in spite of what doctors say and the state says. The child does not belong to either one of those groups. Charlie Gard belongs to his mother and father.
As Nicholas Frankovich at National Review wrote:
Charlie Gard’s cause combines two large political causes, parental rights and the right to life. They comport in this instance, but they don’t comport always or necessarily. Parents can and sometimes do choose for their severely diseased newborn children outcomes that pro-life advocates think are wrong. Pro-choice advocates routinely insinuate and sometimes explicitly invoke the parental rights of women seeking
Parents can and sometimes do choose for their severely diseased newborn children outcomes that pro-life advocates think are wrong. Pro-choice advocates routinely insinuate and sometimes explicitly invoke the parental rights of women seeking abortion. Over the years, parental rights have been integral to arguments for abortion rights.
Pro-lifers are correct to call out double standards, as in this case. If parental rights are said to be sacrosanct when parents want to end the life of their child but not when they fight to preserve it, the principle is not really parental rights, is it?
Chris Gard and Connie Yates have privately raised funds to cover the cost of experimental treatment for Charlie in America, and it is reported that a U.S. hospital has offered to treat him for free, so containment of cost to the British taxpayer is not in any direct sense the rationale for the intransigence of the British doctors in this matter. Wesley Smith is right, however, that their attempt to frustrate these two parents in their quest to save the life of their child aligns with a broader, general campaign to discourage medical care when it is calculated, in cold terms, that the resulting extension or quality of life will probably be too short or too low to justify the expense.
Life is expensive, as we are reminded every time we join the debate about the latest national health-care proposal. To be pro-life is to take the strongest possible stand for life against even the most compelling economic arguments on the other side. It is cheaper certainly in the near term to abort a child who for the next decade or two would be a net drain on his parents’ resources of time and money. And always is it cheaper to hasten the death of the frail and elderly who will never again be net contributors to the material well-being of either their family or society.
It would have been easier for Chris Gard and Connie Yates not to buck the system. The course they have taken — damn the hassle, damn the cost — implies an extraordinary value that they put on life itself.
Frankovich concludes, “Charlie Gard’s parents are heroic not for insisting on “reasonable” (whatever that would be in this case) medical treatment for their child. They are extraordinary because against such enormous odds they have set out to preserve the flame of life still flickering in his fragile, tiny frame. We rightly cheer them for asserting their parental rights against the overreach of the medical establishment and the state. ”
I agree with his conclusions and I support President Trump’s open arms to help little Charlie Gard have a fighting chance at living his life.