Charlie, Pray For Us

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“[H]e opened his eyes and looked at us one last time and closed them before he passed away,” mourn Chris Gard and Connie Yates, the parents of Charlie Gard, who touched the hearts of people all over the world. 

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) denied the parents their final wish to bring him home to die, transferring him instead to a hospice, where his ventilator was removed on July 28, 2017.

“We took Charlie out for a walk in a pushchair in the hospice park.  We had little plaster of Paris molds taken of his feet and hands with ours.

“We dressed him in a Babygro with stars on it.  He looked so beautiful and innocent,” relates his mother.  “The hospice staff popped in. Those last five hours had flashed by.  A woman said the moment we dreaded would happen in the next five minutes…We were both telling him that we were there, we loved him, and how proud we were of him.”

Then a hospice worker unplugged Charlie’s ventilator.  “Charlie opened his eyes and looked at us one last time and closed them before he passed away,” cries Connie.  “We were warned it would take five or six minutes for him to die, but it took 12 minutes until his heart stopped beating.”

Who is Charlie Gard?

Born August 4, 2016, Charlie Gard last September was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.  GOSH decided it would be in the “child’s best interest” that he be removed from life support. 

Determined to keep their baby alive, his parents researched possible cures and discovered an American doctor willing to provide an experimental treatment for Charlie.  Through GoFundMe, his parents raised approximately $1.68 million in five months.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center offered to admit and evaluate Charlie.

Unbelievably, GOSH refused to release Charlie and instead elected to legally fight for the death of the child, claiming on their website:  “GOSH concluded that the experimental treatment…would not improve Charlie’s quality of life.” Instead, the hospital took it upon itself to decide that he should be allowed to “die with dignity.”

Because GOSH would not release the child so he could travel to the United States for treatment, the matter was taken to the Family Division of Britain’s High Court in London, where in April the High Court ruled that it was in Charlie’s best interests for GOSH to “lawfully withdraw all treatment save for palliative care to permit Charlie to die with dignity.”

The case was appealed, and three Court of Appeal judges upheld the High Court ruling.

The parents then took the case to the European Court of Human Rights, which held “undergoing experimental treatment with no prospects of success” would offer Gard “no benefit, and continue to cause him significant harm.”  However, the Court did not address the fact that medical experts in the United States disagreed that the experimental treatment would not benefit Charlie, and the Court did not disclose what “significant harm” he would undergo if he did receive such treatment.

Sadly, the Guardian Ad Litem, an attorney appointed to protect the best interests of the child, was Victoria Butler-Cole, a euthanasia activist and Chairman of Compassion In Dying, formerly Voluntary Euthanasia Society.  Charlie and his parents did not volunteer for him to die.

GOSH, in all of its arrogance, released the following statement, which should strike fear in the hearts of all parents:  “A world where only parents speak and decide for children and where children have no separate identity or rights and no court to hear and protect them is far from the world in which GOSH treats its child patients.

“Charlie’s parents fundamentally believe that they alone have the right to decide what treatment Charlie has and does not have,” GOSH said. “They do not believe that Great Ormond Street should have had the right to apply to the Court for an independent, objective decision to be made.  They do not believe that there is any role for a judge or a court. They believe that only they can and should speak for Charlie and they have said many times that they feel they have been stripped of their rights as parents.”

Since this is not a case where the parents were neglecting the welfare of their child, what right then does any court have to decide what is best for a child, especially when respected medical authority differ?

The hospital wants to kill the child, not the parents.  The hospital does not even want to take a chance that an experimental treatment may save his life, while the parents pursue every avenue to do so.  Not only does the hospital think that parents are not the only people that speak for children, but also that the hospital, not the parents, should have the final decision.

Then, GOSH determined to make sure that Charlie does die, claiming that because of his complex medical condition, he had to be transferred to a hospice where life support would soon be removed.  There he died, instead of being allowed to go home. The obvious intent was to bring about his death, and not allow his parents to continue his life support, until the Good Lord called him home.

Reactions from Others

“This is what happens when you have laws designed to promote death over life, when you have a court willing to promote death over life,” states Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life.

“This is a case about parental rights coming into conflict with socialized medicine,” states Arina Grossu of the Family Research Council.  “Who should decide what’s in the best interest of Charlie?  His parents. Not the courts. Not the hospital. Not the government.”

“The central issue of the Charlie Gard struggle is not about rationing, limited resources, or even life support.  At issue is whether universal healthcare means that bureaucrats and judges will determine appropriate treatment, or whether parents like Charlie’s with the energy, finances, and physicians to care for their child will be allowed to do so,” stated Bobby Schindler (brother of Terri Schiavo), who went to London to assist Charlie’s parents.

He continued:  “We don’t need judges posing as anguished moral philosophers, weighing what makes a life worth living.  We simply need them to rule on whether mothers and fathers have an inalienable right to care for their own children. …Is it better for Charlie Gard to live and die at home with his family, or in a state institution?”

It’s Too Late

U.S. neurologist Dr. Michio Hirano, an expert in the field, previously said Charlie had an 11% to 56% chance of benefiting from the experimental treatment.  However, reports lifesitenews, when Hirano and a group of doctors examined Charlie in late July, they said he no longer had a chance of benefiting from the treatment.

“What seems most needed is rapidity – evaluation and judgment of the situation, appropriate intervention if needed, and speedy return of the child if at all possible.  What it appears we are getting instead is running of an agenda, with purposeful delays to prevent parental access – sometimes indefinitely if social workers in their infinite knowledge and wisdom deem it necessary,” concludes James Asher, DO, vice president of the Catholic Physicians Guild of Phoenix.

The situation here “seems more state-mandated ideological re-indoctrination than actual concern about the child’s welfare.  With Charlie, the agenda was probably quashing any other similarly inclined parents of disabled children who disagreed with the state’s decree that death was the best option,” he continued.

Grant Armstrong, the attorney representing the parents, announced:  “This case is now about time. Sadly, time has run out.  For Charlie, it is too late. The damage has been done.”

In reference to GOSH’s decision denying the parents their request to take Charlie home and instead sending Charlie to hospice, Charlie’s mother Connie stated, “We just want some peace with our son, no hospital, no lawyers, no courts, no media, just quality time with Charlie away from everything, to say goodbye to him in the most loving way,” but GOSH had “denied us our final wish.”

“It’s interesting to consider why a tiny baby an ocean away has captured the imagination of the United States,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.  “I think it’s something fundamental that has really touched a chord.  You don’t have to be an ethics professor or a legal scholar to understand that an institution is not a parent…and they are the only ones who truly make the decisions that are in a child’s best interest.”

Charlie, now that you are in the arms of your loving Father, please pray for your parents, who love and fought for you, and for your country, and for our country that its people may again embrace the Judeo-Christian principle of the sanctity of all innocent human life.

It is not us who should pity Charlie, who is now safe and well taken care of, but we should pity those who have embraced the culture of death, rejecting the intrinsic value of each and every human life.

DEMOGRAPHIC SUICIDE

What do most of the leaders of the Western European nations have in common?  They are childless:

  • Germany’s Angela Merkel
  • France’s Emmanuel Macron
  • Britain’s Theresa May
  • Italy’s Paolo Gentilon
  • Holland’s Mark Rutte 
  • Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon
  • Sweden’s Stefan Lofven
  • Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel (a homosexual)
  • Switzerland’s Simonetta Sommaruga
  • Ireland’s Leo Varadkar (a homosexual)

As to Europe’s Big Four (countries with the largest economies) (Germany, Britain, France, and Italy), only Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has any children (two children).

Although to some childlessness may be a sorrow, none of these leaders have adopted children.

Would leaders who have children be more interested in the future of their nations, than those who have chosen to be without?

Government Solution

Some countries throughout the world are trying to reverse what is called the “birth dearth,” offering financial and material rewards to women who have children.  The Danish government ran a “Do It For Denmark” ad campaign to encourage its citizens to have more children.  In Russia, women who have a second child are not only offered money, but also cars, refrigerators, and other prizes, reports lifenews.com.  Such efforts have been futile.

Real Solution

Pope John Paul II, alarmed by Europeans’ growing embrace of contraception, abortion, and euthanasia, warned:  “Europe is dying!”

Writing in First Things, George Weigel pinpointed the cause of “Europe’s demographic suicide,” including that Europe’s embrace of the “culture of death” represented a “colossal evangelical failure.”

By “evangelical failure,” Weigel, a Catholic, means a failure to preach the Gospel and unapologetically proclaim what Christianity has to say about what human beings should aspire to:  self-giving, not self-aggrandizement.

Only this proclamation stands any chance of inspiring Europeans “to reject demographic suicide and rediscover the joy of creating the future through having children.”

Regardless of what governments around the world may do, only if there is a revival of Christianity in Europe will citizens find the selflessness to bear more children.  Not necessarily for the good of a nation, or the economy, but for love of God, which flows through them into new life.

 

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