NAPA, Calif., July 3, 2017 /Christian Newswire
/ -- Ten-month old Charlie Gard has been sentenced to death by the highest courts in the UK for the crime of having been born with an extremely rare condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome (MDS). Charlie is only one of 16 people ever known to have this disease.
When Charlie's parents learned that their son was sick, they searched for treatment and found a doctor in the U.S. willing to provide an experimental therapy that has been successful in similar cases. In a short time, Charlie's parents raised $1.5 million for Charlie's transport and treatment in America.
The hospital refused to release Charlie and instead filed a lawsuit so they could take Charlie off of the ventilator that is keeping him alive. The judges agreed with the hospital, ruling that Charlie should be made to die--with "dignity" of course.
The judge said Charlie shouldn't be made to "suffer," even though doctors could not produce a shred of evidence that Charlie was suffering. His parents, who spent thousands of hours with their son, testified that Charlie was not in pain. The judge, even as he commended Charlie's parents for their dedication, felt compelled to intervene in the case as the arbiter of Charlie's "best interest," which he determined to be the baby's death.
"Life Legal is appalled that a court of law would side with a hospital aggressively forbidding the loving parents of a sick baby to seek treatment that could have prolonged or even saved his life. What the judge in this case never bothered to consider is that the hospital's posturing against Charlie Gard's parents and the court's delay in adjudicating the case directly contributed to Charlie's decline," said Alexandra Snyder, Executive Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. "There is nothing dignified about a hospital holding a patient captive until he is unable to benefit from treatment that would not have cost the hospital a cent."
Life Legal has intervened in hundreds of cases involving the refusal to provide--or, as in this case, permit--life-sustaining treatment. What these cases reveal is alarming discrimination against the sick and disabled, who are sacrificed at the twin altars of utilitarianism and "death with dignity." We can only hope that Charlie Gard's case will serve as the catalyst for a long-overdue global conversation about what dignity actually entails.
Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989, and is a nonprofit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information about the Life Legal Defense Foundation, visit www.lldf.org.