July 24, 2017

The Update Desk: Charlie Gard

Yesterday, I wrote about the horrible situation faced by the parents of Charlie Gard, the 11-month old British boy suffering from a terminal illness and other medical complications, and their desire to bring their son to the US for experimental treatment.

The point of my post, which you can read here, was about our House of Representatives initiating efforts that would provide legal permanent resident status to Charlie during the middle of their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act which, by all accounts, would take health insurance away from millions of Americans over some period of time. And, that this is just another in a long line of politicians getting in the middle of these situations, for better or worse.

We learned today that Charlie Gard will not be coming here after all; his parents announced they would no longer fight the courts but will instead allow him to slip away after life support is removed.

Even with that decision made, and taking out the meddling by our politicians, there's a lot to digest in this case.  This article in The Daily Mail touches on many of them.

In the end, there could really be no winner, as there never is in cases like this.  The justice in the case summed it up this way:
It is impossible for any of us to comprehend or even begin to imagine the agony to which Charlie's parents have been subjected in recent weeks and months as they have had to come to terms with the decision that they have now made. 
A lot of things have been said, particularly in recent days, by those who know almost nothing about this case but who feel entitled to express opinions. Many opinions have been expressed based on feelings rather than facts. My task today is to deal with the applications that are before me and to make the declarations which are now unopposed. 
Before I do so I must, again, pay tribute to Chris Gard and Connie Yates for the love and care which they have at all times given to their wonderful boy Charlie. 
I said in my judgment on 11 April that there are few, if any, stronger bonds known to humankind than the love that a parent has for his or her child; to lose a child, particularly at such a tender age, and in such tragic circumstances, is grief of a magnitude of immense proportions. 
These parents should know that no parent could have done more for their child. 
They have, however, now accepted that Charlie's life cannot be improved and that the only remaining course is for him to be given palliative care and to permit him to die with dignity.
The parents have announced that money raised through an online fundraiser will be used to start a charity to help children with the same disease.