The Charlie Gard case in England is tragic. Tragic, certainly, because of the emotional turmoil forced upon an otherwise-normal family in the U.K., but even more tragic because it shows the tragic error that leftists are trying to force on the American people when it comes to government run health insurance—which they love to pretend is the same as “healthcare”, which it’s not.
According to Wikipedia, “Charlie Gard (born August 2016) is a British boy with a rare genetic condition known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. While receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital, decisions about his care were taken to various law courts, where a ruling was made that the hospital could lawfully withdraw all treatment save for palliative care. This went against the wishes of his parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates from Bedfont, London. They campaigned to keep him alive on life support and travel to the United States for experimental treatment despite doctors and judges saying it would not help and would cause him “significant harm”. On 24 July 2017, the parents ended their legal challenge.”
The first part of the case, from an admittedly partisan U.S. perspective was that a series of what I like to call “death panels” decided that Charlie would be denied treatment, over the objections of his parents. His parents even went to the length of raising a great deal of money to have the youth treated overseas—and they were then denied permission to take him overseas.
The root question here is who has the power to make—and enforce—decisions about a person’s medical treatment. Is it the person themselves? (Or, in the case of a youth, their legal guardian?) Or is it the state and its surrogates? I would submit that any system that insists that the government has that authority is simply nothing less than totalitarian. And yes, I do realize that I’m talking about my close friends in the U.K.. But this is Kafkaesque.
The second part of the case is, if anything, even worse. After conceding that the legal steps that the state forced upon them had caused delays in treatment that made further treatment ineffective—in other words, the state had condemned this innocent young boy to death—they were denied permission to take him home to die.
This dwarfed the previous totalitarian behavior. Now, in addition to condemning an innocent person to death, they have falsely imprisoned him.
I find it hard to believe that the apparatchiks in the British government who perpetrated this outrage were acting in any other way that to overtly assert the power of the state. This was particularly necessary in the wake of the Brexit referendum, where the British people rose against the wishes of their overlords—and I believe that, at some level, whether consciously or unconsciously, the Charlie Gard case was the state reasserting its authority.
This is a great example to cite when leftists assert that they want “single-payer” healthcare: Do you really want your son or daughter to be the U.S. version of Charlie Gard? I sure don’t.
Edited: Less than one hour after I posted the article above, it was anounced in the press that Charlie Gard has died. RIP. And shame on his tormentors.