I’m sure by now you’ve heard the name Charlie Gard. He is the infant child of parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates who have been fighting a desperate battle with the British State to prevent their son from being put to death against their will.
Charlie was born with infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion. It’s an extremely rare disease that affects tissues in the muscle, liver and brain. There is no cure and most die in infancy or early childhood. Charlie is unable to breath on his own, has brain damage and frequent seizures.
Last March the London hospital where Charlie is being cared for recommended removing his ventilator, as there was nothing more they could do for him. Chris and Connie refused on the grounds that an experimental treatment was available in America, so the hospital took to the courts, which on final appeal ruled in favor of allowing them to take out the ventilator over the expressed wishes of his parents. This legally sanctioned killing of their son is to be done, of course, in Charlie’s best interest.
Yes, of course, his best interest. How many doorways to evil have been opened with that sentiment? Too many to count. No one is denying that the experimental treatment probably will not work for Charlie, nor that his chances of survival beyond a few years aren’t slim. The point is that his parents deserve the choice of doing what they see best fit for their child and if that means bringing him to the U.S. for medical care they should have that right.
Certainly the decision should not be left up to a hospital bureaucracy whose best interests lay in exterminating costly patients. And if Chris and Connie are making arrangements to to take Charlie out of said hospital than what is the real problem here?
The euthanasia movement throughout western countries has brought with it an unhealthy reliance on “experts” by its promoters to make it seem virtuous. I’m sure the hospital administrators really do believe they are acting with compassion and that’s what frightens me the most in cases like this. So sure they are of this “compassionate” view that the power of the state had to be brought in to enforce it against the will of Charlie Gard’s parents.
You’d think the Catholic Church would offer some moral clarity on this but this recent statement from the Vatican was muddled and tinged with euthanasia talking points. Odd for an outfit that claims to value life in all its forms.
What constitutes a life of value and what does it mean to suffer? Only God knows and we should at least approach such issues with some humble awareness of this.