The case of Charlie Gard — who has Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome — is especially tragic because the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) isn’t refusing healthcare to him due to concerns about rationing resources. A massive fundraising campaign has raised over 1.3 million British pounds to get Charlie help by sending him to the U.S. for experimental treatments not available in the UK.The European Court of Human Rights ruled against all pleas from Charlie’s parents to intervene to save their son. Not only did they receive that tragic ruling, they were also prohibited from taking Charlie home from the hospital to die.
President Donald Trump heard the story, and offered to take him in to the US to do anything we could to help.
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2017
In the latest update to the story, we’re again reminded that when the government controls health care, human freedom is limited. The parents of Charlie have no say over whether or not their child can receive health care in another country, as Fox News reported:A British judge told the parents of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard Monday that they had until Wednesday afternoon to submit what he called “new and powerful evidence” demonstrating that their son should be kept alive to receive experimental treatment.
Judge Nicholas Francis set the deadline ahead of a second hearing planned for Thursday afternoon at the Royal Courts of Justice in London following a dramatic day in a case that has attracted the attention of Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump, who tweeted last week that if the U.S. could help, “we would be delighted to do so.”
“There is not a person alive who would not want to save Charlie,” Judge Francis said, according to The Sun newspaper. “If there is new evidence, I will hear it. If you bring new evidence to me and I consider that evidence changes the situation…I will be the first to welcome that outcome.”Can you even imagine being in the situation where the burden of proof is on you to explain to your government why your child shouldn’t die? As has already been pointed out, Charlie would impose ZERO costs on the UK’s NHS, because he would be treated in the US with private donations. Charlie would receive an experimental treatment so there’s no guarantee that he’ll survive if brought to the US — but why not try? If the treatment does end up working, we’ll know we have a cure for children born in the future with Mitochondrial Depletion Syndrome.
Is there any case for prohibiting the parents of Charlie from seeking out the treatment they desire for their child other than to pointlessly make them suffer? There aren’t any.[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. He is a co-author of the new book A Paradoxical Alliance: Islam and the Left, and can be found on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]