Think socialized medicine is a good idea? Before saying yes to that question, you might want to take a close look at the story of Charlie Gard.
A 10-month-old baby with a rare genetic disease, mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, Charlie has essentially been sentenced to death by socialized medicine in the United Kingdom. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London (GOSH) have determined his case is hopeless and that life support should be terminated—against the wishes of his parents.
Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31 have had to resort to petitioning the courts for custody and decision making of their child, whom they want released and moved from the hospital and transported to the United States for a trial therapy, nucleoside. But GOSH had this to say:
It is never easy when medical and judicial opinion goes against the wishes of the parents but our first responsibility at Great Ormond Street Hospital remains to put the interests of the child first and foremost. It is also hugely difficult for any clinically-trained professional to be asked to treat a child who has no chance of survival or even improvement in their quality of life.
But here’s the catch; Charlie’s parents are not asking GOSH to treat their child, rather, they are asking that the hospital not hold the child hostage. Charlie’s parents have been proactive in their mission to save their child. They found a doctor willing to treat Charlie, raised well over $1.5 million (83,417 donations and still increasing) to fund the entire procedure, treatment and follow-up, and did everything by the book, even as the stranglehold of big brother brought them to their knees.
The battle began this past January after Gard and Yates found a doctor in the United States that offered nucleoside as an option. They informed GOSH of their desire to leave the facility with Charlie and to try and save his life and were informed that permission was required when patients disagreed with the conclusion of the medical professionals. Gard and Yates petitioned the court, as did GOSH. And GOSH “did apply for ethical permission to attempt nucleoside therapy on Charlie.” Yes, you read that right; they had to apply—to legions of non-medical channels filled with administrators, judges, and courts. The decision, of Justice Francis in the High Court of Justice Family Division, on Tuesday 11 April 2017, three excruciatingly long months later, declined permission for the family to leave the hospital or seek treatment elsewhere:
By the time that decision was made, Charlie’s condition had greatly worsened and the view was that his epileptic encephalopathy was such that his brain damage was severe and irreversible that treatment was potentially painful but incapable of achieving anything positive for him.
Too late for Charlie due to bureaucratic red tape.
How is it possible that Charlie’s parents have no say in whether their child should live or die? The public relations minions at GOSH have listed this reason on their Charlie Gard FAQ page:
“Although Charlie’s parents have parental responsibility, overriding control is by law vested in the court exercising its independent and objective judgment in the child’s best interests.”
Overriding control and the power to deem who should live or die, receive treatments that may save a life, all at the hands of a government. Parental rights in the United Kingdom are subordinate to the state. Dangerous, indeed, for those who value the right to life, and the fight for life, over the ease of euthanasia. This past week, death won the race as the European Court of Human Rights weighed in on Charlie Gard’s plight, and decided to uphold previous court decisions to keep the child at GOSH, and remove any chance, even the slightest, of a miraculous treatment. But then again, having had to endure the months of “legal process that takes time,” Charlie’s hopes were drowning all along at the hands of those who claim to have his best interests at heart.
Gard and Yates have continued to slog through layers of bureaucrats who see Charlie as a case number, not the once happy, giggling and smiling little boy that was so welcomed by his mom and dad—a child loved beyond measure. No, for GOSH, and the European courts, Charlie is just another number, another file to complete, before an overworked government agent overseeing the desired and free universal healthcare system, trudges home to their own family. They have no vested interest in this little boy.
Is this where our country is headed? It is indeed if we allow for socialized medical care to take root on our soil. America, it’s time to stop this madness. There is no free healthcare. Just ask Charlie’s mom and dad.