Recently, William McGurn of the WSJ, wrote a thoughtful and compassionate article regarding the situation of Charlie Gard. WSJ has a paywall, here is another source:
I agreed 100% with Mr. McGurn’s perspective, and had some additional thoughts/perspective to add regarding this tragic story.
Let’s go back to 1930’s Germany. Hitler went through the hospitals and killed the old, the sick, the infirm, and the disabled. Family and friends of loved ones who they expected to return home or at least be cared for in the health institutions of that era, never saw them again. Essentially, the “undesirables” of society ended up as part of the millions killed in the Holocaust. Too few people study Germany and the changes in her cultural institutions before World War II, but that’s critical to ultimately understanding the onset of that war. Germany had to be groomed by Hitler in the 1930’s to pave the way for his plans of taking over Europe and initiating/completing his “Final Solution.” Those plans included not only Jews, but the weak, disabled, elderly and his political opponents.
Charlie Gard’s story gives us a glimpse of this same pathway. Britain’s National Health Service has been set up to “own” the individual – whether child or adult. When Charlie was born and had to be placed in neonatal intensive care, the NHS terminated the parental rights of Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard. The parents have spent precious months fighting for the right to take the baby out of the NHS and come to America where a physician was willing to try an experimental treatment. In baby Charlie’s case, it wasn’t even about money because the parents had independently raised the necessary funds, but it is/was about who has the RIGHT to determine what was best for Charlie.
The parents wanted to try anything possible to save his life – the State decided nothing was possible and took all control of Charlie away from Connie and Chris. This is what happens in a State controlled health service. The parents appealed to the European Union’s High Court, and the decision of the UK Court AND the National Health Service was upheld. Considering what is happening in the Netherlands – their open and almost gleeful embrace of euthanasia, assisted suicide – the EU Court siding with Britain’s NHS is no surprise. Read another WSJ article, “In the Netherlands, the Doctor Will Kill You Now” by Kees van der Staaij.
In America, we’re having creeping euthanasia as well. Oregon is proud of their assisted suicide law. Yet the naivete is going to come back to haunt them…people are finding out that if they’re on a State insurance plan, ie. Medicaid, they’re not going to be offered chemotherapy but a pill to give them “death with dignity.” California recently had a similar case.
As far as I am concerned, Terri Schiavo was a victim of this same kind of mindset, in that she had loving parents willing to care for her, but a husband who controlled whether she lived or died. Her case wasn’t even as complicated as Charlie’s, but when the State steps in and demands we withdraw nourishment and fluids, – which was all Terri needed to live – then that is State sanctioned killing.
Daily, thousands of life and death decisions are made in a family regarding life support issues for a loved one. It’s made between the physician, family members, and the patients themselves if they are able to participate. I don’t need to go into the medical details of these types of situations; suffice it to say, it happens, but it is in the hands of the patient, family and physician. Not the State.
The Affordable Care Act had a hidden nugget, outed by Sarah Palin, known as “Death Panels.” This is a fact, and as long as the ACA remains on the books, a non-medical bureaucrat is going to make a decision on whether one gets treatment and lives or gets a pill for pain, and simply dies. In 2008, a presidential candidate gave an example of a 90 year old woman needing a pacemaker…a woman who was alert, functioning and enjoying life, he said maybe they “should just give her a pill (not sure if it was ‘red’ or ‘blue’) for pain instead of a pacemaker…” I’m in the medical field, pacemakers are an everyday, reasonable option. Millions of people have them – rare for a person not to be able to get one. But in this candidate’s worldview, and others who think like him, a 90 year grandmother has no meaning or relevancy to society. That’s where he is not only wrong, but it shows the moral decline of a society. It’s our humanity and respect for life – imperfect as it is – which keeps us on a moral path. Once we lose that compass, we lose everything else.
Charlie Gard’s story is more than just the story of a baby needing life support; it’s also a tragic statement and ongoing travesty of what happens when a society slides down the slippery slope too many people thought would never happen. Yes, the same slippery slope Roe v Wade (“safe, legal and rare”) has brought us. Since that Supreme Court Ruling, 1972, we went from “safe, legal and rare” to over 50 million babies aborted. That’s not rare. Roe v Wade shows how State sanctioned killing begins. The National Health Service of Britain, Medicaid in states like Oregon and California, show us how it continues. Birth to death now controlled by the State.
The Charlie Gards of the world are important, just as the Down Syndrome infants are, or the disabled or the elderly – it keeps our humanity, our Soul. If we deliberately kill – when alternative resources or experimental treatments are available, we’re on our way to the same kind of thinking and mindset which engulfed the Third Reich. No difference.
Update: I want to add two perceptive remarks from the comment thread.
1) Kenny Solomon used the phrase: “genocidal theocracy” – which brings to mind the abortion industry and their rabid supporters.
2) Vassar Bushmills noted: “Never forget, that murder by indifference is the greatest sin before God.”
Picture image credit: Lifenews.com