Charlie Gard is a 10-month-old suffering from mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. There is a treatment available in America his parents have raised money for, but the courts and Vatican in his country have decided that the family cannot travel to get the treatment. They will ultimately watch their baby die at the hands of the court system and the Vatican. This controversial decision from the courts and Vatican have sparked immense amounts of conversation.
Gard's parents wish to avoid letting their child die. Gard is reportedly terminally ill, but the treatment in America is experimental and might be life saving. The family would like to try everything they can before letting their child pass.
The treatment is both experimental and expensive. It will likely not reverse any brain damage the child may have, but it could prolong the life of the baby. The parents have raised over $1.4 million thanks to the generosity of people who donated money to help them reach the amount they need.
People all around the world have fallen in love with this story and the family. They want the family to pursue all treatment options because it is their child and their choice. Most people believe the court and disgraceful Vatican should have no say in not allowing the child to receive treatment, even if it is experimental. And since the family has raised the money, who are the court and Vatican to deny them the ability to travel with their baby and try another procedure? Quite messed up, right?
Despite the fact Charlie Gard's parents have been able to raise the funds for the treatment, which may potentially save their son's life, both the courts and the Vatican have denied them traveling to America for treatment. They have basically said to let the child die.
This situation would have been a good time for the Vatican to stand up and make a statement on what the Catholic faith teaches about human life, and how we all have a duty to help one another, but that is not what happened. The Vatican has disgusted a LOT of people.
The Vatican mildly expressed admiration towards the doctors and parents, but chose to voice reason behind the decision which states.
The proper question to be raised in this and in any other unfortunately similar case is this: what are the best interests of the patient? We must do what advances the health of the patient, but we must also accept the limits of medicine and, as stated in paragraph 65 of the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, avoid aggressive medical procedures that are disproportionate to any expected results or excessively burdensome to the patient or the family. Likewise, the wishes of parents must be heard and respected, but they too must be helped to understand the unique difficulty of their situation and not be left to face their painful decisions alone. If the relationship between doctor and patient (or parents as in Charlie’s case) is interfered with, everything becomes more difficult and legal action becomes a last resort, with the accompanying risk of ideological or political manipulation, which is always to be avoided, or of media sensationalism, which can be sadly superficial.
This sees the Vatican looking at it from a patients point of view and what decision must be made in the best interests of the patient. It also states the limits of medicine and the avoiding of aggressive medical procedures. But without aggressive medical procedures, then how does medicine advance? If this doesn't save Charlie Gard, then it offers untouchable amounts of research in the name of medicine and creating cures for future children.
Charlie Gard, an infant, is going to die without a treatment that his parents wish to deploy against his mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, a treatment that they can afford thanks to the generosity of others. The highest court in Europe has sided with the English hospital’s wishes that Charlie “die with dignity” over his parents’ wish that he be released into their custody to try an experimental treatment in America. Further, it is decided by the principalities and powers that Charlie is going to die in that hospital even though his parents would at least wish for him to come home with them.
Regardless of what the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae says, this should be the choice of Charlie Gard's parents and NO ONE ELSE. If they want to help their child, in any way they see fit, then let them. If American doctors are willing to treat Charlie Gard, then why should the courts and the Vatican have the right to stop the family from making the trip?
The Vatican is disgraceful because they constantly preach about helping one another. In this case, thousands of people have helped already and the experimental treatment in America is the last stage to see what can be accomplished.
The Vatican should put themselves in the parents shoes for a few minutes and take a good long look at their decision. It was controversial and morally wrong to force parents to watch their child die without trying everything they can to spend more time with the baby.
Charlie Gard's parents should have the right to help their baby. He IS their child, right? Or does the child belong to the court and Vatican?
The court and Vatican should let the family make their own decisions with their own child. They've raised the money, now let them make the trip!