The parents of Charlie Gard of the UK have been unable to save their child’s life despite raising millions to have him treated in the US. After the most recent MRI scan, they believe treatment may be too late. The legal battle against the hospital and UK courts have wasted too much time leaving the family with little hope to save their son. Are the courts and hospital overstepping their role or are the parents entitled to seek life saving treatment for their child? Let us know in the comments.
After their five-month legal battle with London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital and the European court system, Chris Gard and Connie Yates say it is now “too late” for any experimental treatment to help their 11-month-old recover.
Charlie has a rare mitochondrial disease. His parents raised more than $1.5 million to transfer him to the U.S. for experimental treatment, but British and European courts ruled that his hospital can block his parents’ wishes and pull the 11-month-old’s life support.
U.S. expert Dr. Michio Hirano examined Charlie for five hours last week. But Armstrong told a UK court this morning that Hirano could no longer offer Charlie experimental therapy after seeing the latest MRI scan.
The parents, said Armstrong, are setting up a new charity to help other children with Charlie’s condition. Through that effort they hope his voice “continues to be heard,” he said.
#Great Ormond Street Hospital argued in the courts that treating Charlie would be “futile” and he should be removed from life support because his life was giving him “no benefit.”
Katie Gollop, the head of the hospital’s legal team, told the courts: “There is significant harm if what the parents want for Charlie comes into effect. … The significant harm is a condition of existence which is offering the child no benefit.”
“If the parents had actually become abusive of the child, custody could be removed from them and the child would become a ward of the state with the state making decisions on its behalf. But that is not the case here,” Haas, who serves as president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, told the National Catholic Register.
Bioethicist Wesley Smith argued that while the #Charlie Gard case is similar to other “futile care” controversies, it broke new ground because of the hospital’s insistence that they would not discharge him to be treated elsewhere.
“The refusal to allow Charlie’s parents to remove their baby boy from the hospital is an act of bioethical aggression that will extend futile-care controversies, creating a duty to die at the time and place of doctors’ choosing,” Smith wrote at First Things. “And that raises a crucial liberty question: Whose baby is Charlie Gard? His parents’? Or are sick babies—and others facing futile-care impositions—ultimately owned by the hospital and the state?”
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