A name that has not been widely mentioned in the mainstream American press (although it should) is Charlie Gard, a ten-month-old baby with a terminal illness who has been sentenced to death because the EU thinks that protecting single payer healthcare is more important than protecting Charlie Guard.
The story starts off with little Charlie tragically attaining a mitochondrial disease that severely damages both his muscles and his brain. In the UK there is currently no treatment for his illness, but his parents were able to find hope in an experimental treatment now being tried in the United States which leads the world in medical innovation. The parents of this precious child were even able to raise 1.6 million dollars to bring their son into the United States. So what’s the problem? Why can’t they bring him? Well, the hospital has an insane idea that if they think they know what is best for the child then the parents get no say in the matter and all decisions must be made by the hospital. With this perverse idea, the hospital argued that it would be best for Charlie if he were left to die.
Looking at this from the parent’s perspective makes it easy to see how awful this is for them. They find out about a treatment for their son in the U.S., they raise over a million and a half dollars to bring him to the United States to receive his treatment, and then the hospital tells them that they can’t because the parents don’t know what is best for their child, but the all knowing government run hospital does. As the loving parents that they are, they could not tolerate this so they went to court in a battle that would determine the fate of their child, and sadly they lost. But their deep love for their ten-month-old baby Charlie led them to fight on until reaching the European Court of Human Rights which ruled in favor of a single payer death panel deciding Charlie’s fate rather than allowing his parents to have the opportunity to seek alternative care in the United States which could actually save Charlie. They also used an awful reason stating that Charlie must “die with dignity.”
After this tragic court ruling, the hospital treating Charlie released a statement:
“Our thoughts are with Charlie’s parents on receipt of this news that we know will be very distressing for them. Today’s decision by the European Court of Human Rights marks the end of what has been an arduous process and our priority is to provide every possible support to Charlie’s parents as we prepare for the next steps.”
Although the part about providing support is nonsense, as the parents reported to the guardian when talking about the fact that Charlie is being taken off of life support today:
“We begged them to give us the weekend. Friends and family wanted to come and see Charlie for the last time. But now there isn’t even time for that. Doctors said they would not rush to turn off his ventilator, but we are being rushed. Not only are we not allowed to take our son to an expert hospital to save his life, we also can’t choose how or when our son dies.”
Opinion Of The Author Below
This is awful but is becoming the new normal in places like the UK due to their acceptance of an enormous government that usurps the rights of individuals in favor of a utopian fantasy that Europe is attempting to become with its embrace of various forms of socialism. For all the flaws in the U.S. healthcare system such as the death spiral and private companies having a lesser ability to innovate due to the government crushing them with taxes and regulations. This story would never happen in the U.S. under the current system. The United States must continue allowing parents like these to access the care their children need for their children and never let a government run healthcare bureaucracy usurp parental rights in such a repugnant fashion. It is a sad truth that Charlie Guard will most likely die today but his death cannot be in vain, and his life should be an inspiration to all Americans and all Brits to allow parents to choose what is best for their children, including better healthcare.