Charlie Gard, 10 months old.
Since the British single-payer health system and the European Court of Human Rights have decided that a very sick child in London must be taken off life support -- killed by state order -- and not allowed to go to the United States for an experimental treatment, President Donald J. Trump announced on Twitter today that if the United states "can help little #CharlieGard," we would "be delighted to do so."
Charlie Gard was born in August and suffers from an inherited disease called infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion. Most patients who get the disease die from it in infancy.
The British health care system at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, after providing for Charlie since his birth, decided they could do nothing more and that his ventilator must be removed, which will cause his death. Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, want to explore other treatments and have raised the money to do so through GoFundMe and other sources. They also fought the health care legal forces in Britain, through several different courts, an appeal, and then the European Court of Human rights.
In every instance, the courts sided with the British authorities that little Charlie Gard should, in effect, be put to death regardless of the wishes and resources of his parents.
In recent days, however, Pope Francis -- following a morally flawed statement from the Pontifical Academy of Life at the Vatican -- issued his own statement in defense of Charlie Gard. "The Holy Father follows with affection and commotion the situation of Charlie Gard, and expresses his own closeness to his parents," reads the statement from July 2.
"He prays for them, wishing that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end will be respected," said the Pope's spokesman.
The parents of Charlie Gard, Chris Gard and
Connie Yates. (Mediaite)
Today, July 3, President Donald J. Trump tweeted, "If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so."
Although Chris Gard and Connie Yates reportedly have raised nearly $2 million to pay for the experimental treatment of their son, the British health care legal system will not allow them to take their child to the United States for treatment.
According to Crux, a Catholic online news source, "The therapy Connie Yates and Chris Gard want to give to their son is currently being administered to Arturito Estopinian, a six-year old who continues to improve on daily doses of the therapy. His parents, Arthur Estopinian and his wife Olga, have been in 'constant contact' with the Gard family."
"The British paper Sunday Express reported on Saturday that Estopinian said he was heartbroken Charlie was not given a chance to try the therapy that saved their own son’s life, after he was 'sent home to die' aged 18 months."
Commenting on the case, National Review magazine stated, “The precedent established by Charlie Gard’s case will metastasize, as similar decisions have. It will be made to apply to children with more-familiar illnesses and better prognoses; it will be used to dismiss the input of parents whose values and priorities when it comes to medical care and end-of-life issues do not align with those of the state; it may be used simply to clear beds for ‘worthier’ patients in a health-care system with very limited resources.
“This, presumably, will be ‘compassionate,’ too. Any day now, they’ll kill Charlie Gard. But it’s in his own best interest. Don’t you see?”