Something odd is going on in the United Kingdom, and I’m not talking about Brexit negotiations.
As I wrote on Tuesday, UK courts are refusing to allow Charlie Gard’s parents (Connie and Chris) to transfer their terminally ill infant son to the United States for experimental treatment.
Charlie suffers from brain damage and a severe DNA depletion syndrome that makes it impossible for him to hear, see, move, or cry. He can’t even breathe or eat without the help of machines.
Charlie’s parents raised over $1 million to take their son to the United States, but UK courts have given Great Ormond Street Hospital permission to discontinue life support on the basis that experimental treatment would not work and that and ongoing life would cause Charlie “significant harm.”
Pope Francis offered to extend Charlie’s care at his pediatric hospital in Rome, but UK doctors have turned down that request too.
“The hospital told us that, for legal reasons, the baby can’t be transferred to us,” said Mariella Enoc, president of Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome. “We listened to what the mother asked us with great attention, and she’s determined to fight to the end.”
The Trump Administration has also offered to help, but considering the fact that both British and European courts have rejected requests to take Charlie to the US for treatment, such an offer seems impossible.
Charlie’s doctors originally said they would be pulling the plug last Friday, but after global backlash decided to extend his life a bit longer so his parents could spend more time with him. In the meantime, Vatican City sends its prayers:
“The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the story of Charlie Gard and expresses his own closeness to this parents,” reads a statement by Vatican spokesman Greg Burke. “He prays for them, wishing that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end will be respected.”
Editor’s note: This is an artifact of socialized medicine. This is why people have to be responsible for their own health, and government should stay the hell out of it.