Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Should The Parent Decide?

I listened to the news today. There were the usual stories about Trump and his Russian connection. There were stories about Mosul. But one story grabbed my ear. The story of Charlie Gard. Charlie is only 11 months old. Charlie was not dealt a good hand in the genetic card game. He has a rare condition that leaves him with brain damage, and he is connected to life support. Charlie lives in Britain. And his parents want to take him to the States for a treatment that has a slim chance of saving his life.

But according to British law, Charlie's welfare has to be taken into consideration. And so Charlie's life hangs in the hand of the courts, not in the hands of his parents. The courts have decided that it is in Charlie's best interest to remain in Britain. It would be better for him not to receive the experimental treatment.

When I heard this, I thought something doesn't seem right. The courts are deciding if a parent has the right to try and save their child's life. It seems to me that these individuals are seeking out something good for Charlie. They want him to be able to live. I don't think that is an unusual desire for any parent.

But why aren't Charlie's parents able to decide this? It's because the experts say there is no point in trying. It's true, that the odds of the treatment may not pay off. But shouldn't it be up to his parents to decide and not the courts?

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