We are living in an age of politics that seems to know no end to divisions of all kinds. But, when President Donald Trump, the Pope, European Parliamentarians, and even Cher are all putting pressure on the United Kingdom, perhaps this is a situation that needs to be watched. There is a hospital in the U.K. which has been making a decision that an eleven month old child needs to have all “the plugs” pulled, and thus are saying he must die. The parents have been spending at least half of this young boy’s life begging to be able to make that decision themselves or to at least take him home to die, if dying is what must happen. Little Charlie Gard has a rare condition called infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome or MDDS. The hospital staff and government entities have said he cannot survive. His parents have begged to fly him to the United States for even experimental treatment to give him a chance at life.
The parents will make another court plea on Monday, July 10, 2017. They have at least one doctor in the U.S. who has offered help, and possibly more. The Pope said on June 30, 2017, “To defend human life above all when it’s wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.” The hospital officials have said he will be blind and unable to speak, and his life will be meaningless. Does anyone who has read about Helen Keller believe that Helen’s life was meaningless? And who are these “death panel” participants anyway to decide that parents cannot make this decision for themselves?
In February of 2017 there was a story online on several sites about a bridge being repaired just above San Francisco. The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge repairs were put on “hold” for at least two weeks at the cost of an estimated seventy million dollars because ONE tree that needed to be removed in the process of this bridge repair had in it a TINY hummingbird nest. In that nest was ONE egg. No work could be completed until the tiny hummingbird was born and left the nest. (At no time was this called a clump of cells within the eggshell.) The species of hummingbird was called Anna’s hummingbird and is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The tree must stay until the “baby” was gone.
We shall all have to wait now to see what happens to little Charlie Gard. His parents are fighting for his life. A website has raised enough money for them to travel to the U.S. for experimental treatment. His parents have managed to get him a travel visa to the United States. A Pro Life group in the United States has started a hash-tag “We are all Charlie Gard.” But societies and countries have sunk to a really bad place when the hospitals and the courts who are designed to protect the vulnerable now can decide on death for a child…and the parents have no say.
I, for one, am hoping the outcome for Charlie and his parents will be a positive one, with at least the parents having the ability to decide what to do. Around the world, people are praying for little Charlie Gard. For now, I have a song that I keep hearing in my head…”For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.”