Subject of massive controversy on the limits of State power and imperative questions concerning human and parental rights, the parents of 11-month-old Charlie Gard have been offered a tentative reprieve from a factious High Court ruling that will otherwise see the infant’s life support severed.
Having endured brain damage and unable to breathe on his own, little Charlie suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome and has been under the care of medical personnel at Great Ormond Street Hospital since October — which isn’t equipped to treat the rare condition.
There have only been fifteen other cases of the mitochondrial disease — which Charlie inherited when parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard both carried the faulty gene — and specialists in the U.S. seemed like the only option.
A crowdfunding campaign quickly amassed over £1.4 million (roughly $1.8 million) in hopes of providing proper medical air transport for Charlie to the United States — but, because the infant is under the hospital’s care, British law mandates the hospital and doctors have the final say in whether or not he should be permitted to leave.
Physicians and specialists have repeatedly lamented Charlie’s bleak prognosis and that traveling, alone, could cause the child pain — an opinion challenged, but seconded, by the High Court — meaning his life support will cease, likely causing death.
Citing no better outcome were Charlie to travel to the U.S., the aspirations of travel to appropriate specialists in the states effectively waned — until today.
“High Court Judge Nicholas Francis said Friday he is ‘open-minded about the evidence’ to come after the visit of Dr. Michio Hirano of Columbia University,” the Associated Press reports.
“Hirano will assess Charlie, meet with his current immediate care team and other specialists, including a doctor from the Vatican children’s hospital. Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, fought to attend and was given permission.”
Neither Yates nor Gard have claimed specialized care would grant their son an ordinary life, or impart vast improvement to his condition — rather, they feel treatment could provide some improvement, or perhaps prolonged life.
As a battle for State-run health care plays out in the U.S., a cursory examination of Charlie Gard’s case clearly evinces perilous pitfalls when government is given an extended invitation into our lives and personal choices — particularly, given the parents acquired sufficient funds to cover the entire cost, through donations, to no avail.
According to the AP, the judge seeks to rule in the matter by July 25.
In the meantime — unbeknownst to him — Charlie’s life hangs in the balance and in the hands of Dr. Hirano.
As the judge flatly noted,
“We’ll have to wait and see the evidence.”
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Contributed by Claire Bernish of The Daily Sheeple.