Monday, July 3, 2017
UK Sentences Baby to Death
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
July 3, 2017
Beware living under the auspices of government-controlled healthcare and medical care. Let the following cautionary tale be your guide, and may the United States government never follow in their linguistic ancestors’ footsteps.
The case in question involves 11-month-old infant Charlie Gard, born in August 2016 and saddled with infantile-onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome - a rare genetic disorder, according to The Wall Street Journal.
While debates over so-called death panels have mostly been hypothetical or theoretical here in the United States as a part of the failed Obamacare, for British subjects they are all too real, as baby Charlie’s parents are experiencing. Connie Yates, 31, and Chris Gard, 32, Charlie’s parents, are fighting the government’s decision to ultimately cease life support.
Although parents are charged with making medical treatment decisions for their children in Great Britain, so long as “choices don’t contravene a child’s best interests,” the British Supreme Court ruled in favor of the doctors seeking permission to terminate treatment. What happened to the Hippocratic Oath? First do no harm?
The British Supreme Court said in their June ruling that “prolonging Charlie’s life would be not in his best interests.” Charlie has brain damage; he is not brain dead. Adding insult to injury, the parents have been denied the right to bring Charlie to the United States for an experimental therapy - a therapy, that heretofore, has been tested on neither people nor animals in Charlie’s circumstance, according to The Journal. If doctors are willing to let Charlie die, attempting this therapy costs the child nothing.
Remember, it is the parents fighting to keep their child alive, not the government. Why should the government have the power of life and death when parents have the right to make such decisions? Additionally, why should the government sign Charlie’s death warrant when his parents have managed to raise $1.7 million as of last Friday, June 30 via social media. Both President Donald Trump and Pope Francis have weighed in supporting Charlie and his parents’ right to keep him alive and receive the potentially life saving treatment in the United States.
“If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so,” tweeted President Trump.
G-d forbid Trump should offer legitimate assistance to a child in need - where he has nothing to gain - but yet is chided by NBC reporter Matt Bradly for attempting to garner political points out of the suffering of that child.
The British government, in its infinite cruelty, even thwarted Connie Yates and Chris Gard’s right to take Charlie home to die with dignity. They asked the European Court of Human Rights to overturn the British Supreme Court’s ruling, but it denied the request, in spite of the “sensitive moral and ethical issues,” this case is raising. The British Supreme Court is no better than the abortionists’ savage butchery of the unborn at Planned Parenthood.
Charlie Gard, and others like him, are precisely the reasons the United States should not move toward government-run healthcare, as Obamacare dictated - dictating that the American people should be forced to purchase a product it may not want; dictating the places where the American people could actually receive medical care, and how its failings are hurting the American people. We the people should not have the government imposing its will on the populous. Medical decisions must be determined between doctor and patient, not some nameless, faceless death panel, as has been feared.
Far be it for the United States, in spite of Trump’s support of Charlie and his parents, to intervene with the sovereignty of another nation, but where is the humanity? There is a complete loss of humanity in this case and no doubt countless others lacking the notoriety of Charlie Gard. This is not North Korea.
This is Great Britain - a presumably civilized nation seeking to euthanize an 11-month-old infant when a potentially life saving treatment could be available. This smacks of Nazism - to simply sentence this child to death unemotionally and seemingly with no care for the parents and their suffering. Remember, Germany in the 1930s also relished its place amongst civilized society, and yet it perpetrated one of the greatest crimes against humanity. This is not, nor should it be made into, a political issue; it is bigger than that, as it is about the life of not just one little boy, but all future patients who may be denied life, liberty, and happiness by the non-medical, political apparatchik. Something to keep in mind as we the American people celebrate the 241st birthday of the United States on our independence from Great Britain.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.