Charlie Gard’s Human Rights

And now for something completely different, after a month filled with New Hampshire posts.

Read this from Aleteia: “Charlie Gard case raises questions about medical treatment and parental rights.”

Charlie Gard is an infant who at this writing is in a hospital in London, England. He was born severely ill with a “rare, fatal condition” (quoting the Aleteia post).

Charlie’s parents want to bring him to the United States for an experimental therapy. They are prepared to pay for the treatment. There’s just one catch: the hospital won’t release their baby to them, and the hospital’s been backed up by the European Court of Human Rights.

Time to let the little tyke “die with dignity,” say the experts. Reportedly, the hospital is now free to remove whatever life support is being used for Charlie’s benefit.

I believe that there is such a thing as burdensome care, and no one has a moral obligation to accept it. I also believe that when a government tells parents that they can’t take their sick child for care at a facility that’s not under the control of that government, something’s very wrong.

I have to wonder: if the parents wanted to hasten their son’s death via active euthanasia, would the hospital and the Court be resisting them?

This is a terrible situation, though I won’t say “terrible case” because Charlie’s a child, not a case. No happy outcome is likely, by any earthly measure. Aggravating the situation is the fact that it’s now been established that in England, a government-run health care facility can deny custody of a disabled child to parents who are willing and able to seek treatment for that child.

That’s enough to give government-run health care a bad name. One may hope such decisions would never be made here. I suspect Charlie’s parents didn’t think it would happen in England.