There’s been a dramatic new development in the case of Charlie Gard, the British infant with a rare genetic disorder whose parents are fighting to take him to America for an experimental treatment, while his hospital and European courts have ruled that his life support should be turned off to let him die.
The obvious trampling of the rights of the desperate parents has struck a chord of sympathy worldwide, resulting in support from the Pope, President Trump and major pro-life groups, as well as a petition signed by over 350,000 people. With a worldwide spotlight turned on them, the British hospital administrators suddenly saw the potential in the experimental treatment, but they claim their hands are tied by the court order to turn off his life support. So on Monday, the parents were back in court for a hearing, trying to convince the original judge that the treatment is worth pursuing so he’ll lift the de facto death sentence on Charlie.
Judge Nicolas Francis said he is with the petitioners who want to save Charlie’s life, but he’ll only be swayed by medical evidence, not tweets, and it will take “drastic” new evidence to convince him to overturn his original decision. The experimental treatment reportedly has only about a 10 percent chance of working. But in a heartbreaking mother’s plea, Charlie’s mom Connie Yates told the judge, “Ten percent. You would if it was your son, wouldn’t you?”
Therein lies the real point of this battle: of course, if the judge’s son were facing death and there were only a 10 percent chance of saving him, he would take those odds in a heartbeat. But under the very system he represents – one in which life-and-death health care decisions are made by the government, based on statistics and budgets and cold bureaucracy – fathers and mothers don’t have that option. This innocent child’s life is not in the hands of the parents who love him, but those of a judge who admits he'd like to let the parents try to save the boy, but his first loyalty is to the rules. If that results in their baby’s death, then so be it.
And people really want to import this health care system to America?