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.
Canada’s highest court handed down its Carter decision last February striking down the nation’s laws against assisted suicide and giving legislators twelve months to craft new rules and standards of oversight. The push to legalize active euthanasia is on. Quebec’s Coalition of Physicians for Social Justice has just released a video featuring a family’s appeal to keep that legalization from happening.
Keep this family in mind when assisted suicide legislation returns locally – as it will.
(My thanks to Nancy Elliott and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition for bringing my attention to this video. Alex Schadenberg of EPC has a blog where you can find more information about the situation in Canada.)
“I am steadfastly opposed to euthanasia. I have spent my entire career protecting life, especially the life of children….I regret that my recent comments about Terri Schiavo have been taken out of context and misinterpreted. When I used the term ‘much ado about nothing,’ my point was that the media tried to create the impression that the pro-life community was nutty and going way overboard with the support of the patient.”
The article continued, “[Dr. Carson] told LifeSiteNews that his off-the-cuff remarks to a reporter from the Tampa Bay Times meant that doctors should allow terminally ill patients to refuse heroic medical treatment, not to deny food and water to someone diagnosed in a persistent vegetative state (PVS).”
I’m pleased that the good doctor acknowledged the concerns raised by his earlier remarks. My particular concerns expressed in an earlier post persist. If what he means is that he flat-out refuses to tolerate starvation for patients with brain damage, that’s good news.
“The experience of death is going to get more and more painful, contrary to what many people believe. The forthcoming euthanasia will make it more rather than less painful because it will put the emphasis on personal decision in a way which was blissfully alien to the whole problem of dying in former times. It will make death even more subjectively intolerable, for people will feel responsible for their own deaths and morally obligated to rid their relatives of their unwanted presence. Euthanasia will further intensify all the problems its advocates think it will solve.” — René Girard, 1923-2015
The next time you hear or read anything from “Compassion and Choices” (founded as the Hemlock Society) about how many people want to see assisted suicide legalized, cry foul.
Watch this message from a pro-life woman who signed an online petition, not knowing that her name was being collected by C&C to be used in promoting assisted suicide – something to which the woman is 100% opposed.
How many legislative hearings will C&C representatives attend next year? How many legislators will be told that X number of constituents have signed a pro-assisted-suicide petition? And how many of those constituents will have unwittingly lent their names to an assisted suicide campaign?