The “greater good” evidently involves a lot more death and loss of liberties than the brochures would have you believe.
The parents of 11-month old Charlie Gard this morning announced that they were dropping their months-long effort to get experimental treatment for him. Gard suffers from a rare genetic disorder that is usually fatal. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London determined in February nothing more could be done for him and he must be taken off of life support. The parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, disagreed. They wanted to take him to America to undergo an experimental therapy that a doctor had agreed to perform. The parents raised over $1.75 million to pay for all this—including an air ambulance to transport the infant to the US. All they needed the British hospital do was to release their child into their care. The hospital refused. The case ended up in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Judges ruled the parents should be barred from taking their son to the US for treatment.
This morning, the parents agreed that—after an examination done by the American physician—that the “window of opportunity no longer exists.” Of course we will never know if that window existed back in February when the original request was made. The State made DAMNED sure of that.
“Mum and dad love you so much. We always have and always will, and we are sorry we didn’t save you,” Yates said today reading a statement to the court. “We had a chance and we were not allowed.”
This is a maddening and infuriating story. NO ONE was going to be inconvenienced by the effort to keep this child alive. The money’s in the bank. Everyone was ready to take this chance, slim though it may have been. Everyone except the doctors at the London hospital. And the British Government. The parents were not asking the doctors to do anything they would be uncomfortable with. They were simply asking that THEIR child be returned to THEIR custody so they can take one last stab at keeping him alive.
I have REALLY tried, since this case was made public, to NOT make it about socialized medicine and all that it implies. But seeing responses from people today it appears people are defending the Government with an almost religious zealousness.
As for the chance of prolonged suffering…how so? If the child is “brain dead,” as government supporters state, how would he feel pain? If he WERE in pain, were doctors at the London hospital not properly applying comfort measures?
The bottom line is this. It is obscene that Charlie Gard’s parents would have to ask their government for permission to treat their child. THAT is the issue here. The nature of the disease, his chances of survival—are mere intrigue.
I keep telling myself I will no longer be amazed at the lengths to which people will go to defend government power over the individual. But there are far too many people who appear to be perfectly willing to override a parent’s right to do everything in their power to save their child; so long as that means that The State remains superior to the Individual. It forces me to wonder what other basic rights they are willing to sacrifice at the altar of Government. How much more will they ignore in order to make sure their dream of an orderly, government-directed society is maintained?
Dramatic? Yes? Dogmatic? Probably. Over-the-top? I don’t think so.
And if you are an enthusiastic supporter of single-payer, government-directed health care…can you explain to me how such a thing could NOT happen here? What protections would be included in such a system to make sure parents have the ultimate say? Do you *want* parents to have the ultimate say?
Very soon Charlie Gard will be dead. Here is hoping that his death will lend a level of discussion to the debate we are current having here in the States on the nature of health care; and to the inevitable struggle between the Rights of the Individual versus The Collective.