As a follow-up to my post the other day about Charlie Gard, the 10-month old baby boy who suffers from an extremely rare and deadly genetic disorder called Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome, the world has taken notice of the outrageously unjust hospital and court actions refusing to let Charlie's parents seek additional treatment for him. The courts won't even let Charlie's parents take their baby home to let him die there.
It doesn't matter that Charlie's parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have raised over a million dollars in private donations to take Charlie to America for an experimental treatment. It doesn't matter that the Vatican hospital, Bambino Gesu, has offered to take Charlie. It doesn't matter that a US hospital has also offered to take Charlie in an attempt to help. It doesn't even matter that, as one official at the hospital where Charlie's being cared for admitted, doctors “don’t know whether he suffers pain.”
Instead, the doctors at Britain’s Great Ormond Street Hospital have decided that Charlie’s condition is hopeless, and that he should be left to die. Britain’s High Court agreed, and the European Court of Human rights refused to intervene after Charlie’s parents appealed. Disappointingly, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May also refused to intervene on Charlie's behalf. The doctors now have the legal go-ahead to take Charlie off life support.
While Charlie's parents know there is every chance the treatment won't work, don't they, as his parents, have the right to exhaust every possibility? Wouldn't you want to try if it were your loved one?
Regardless, what's most appalling and frightening about this is that the government and hospital employees are dictating when and where a person should die, and whether family members can seek additional treatment options. In other words, these strangers have taken ownership over this little boy and his life. This is unquestionably wrong.
Could this overreach have anything to do with the fact that the government has taken on a larger and larger role of authority over the family given the increase we've seen in broken, fatherless households? Have government officials become so accustomed to stepping in where parents aren't providing for their own children that they now don't recognize actively involved parents when it's right in front of them? Is this the power we've handed to government by allowing them to support able-bodied citizens at the expense of our own independence?
If so, where does it stop? This case is not just about Charlie Gard. It's about the alarming power of government to directly decide whether and where we live or die. That absolutely cannot be taken lightly by any of us.