Charlie Gard was born last August to parents Connie and Chris.
Charlie suffers from a severe DNA depletion syndrome that among other problems causes congenital deafness, problems breathing, and severe epilepsy. The condition has resulted in severe brain damage. He cannot hear, see, move, or cry. He cannot eat or breathe on his own.
Connie and Chris raised over $1 million to take Charlie to the US for experimental treatment, but the UK courts have given his doctors permission to pull the plug.
Who should be allowed to make a life or death decision in a baby’s case?
Charlie’s parents have raised money to take him to the US for an operation, but the socialized healthcare system in the UK seems to be able to overrule the parents.
Their only hope now is international pressure, which Trump seems willing to provide:
“If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the UK and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so,” he tweeted on Monday.
Not only does his tweet bring Charlie’s plight to a wider audience, but it also highlights the pitfalls in the British healthcare system at a time when the US is undergoing a fierce debate about medical coverage.
Pope Francis has also commented on the situation, urging Charlie’s hospital to allow his parents to “accompany and treat their child until the end” rather than shutting off his life support.
“To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all,” tweeted the Pope on Friday.