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Charlie Gard case raises questions about medical treatment and parental rights

One headline trumpeted that a European court had sentenced a baby to death.

National Review decried “The Court-Ordered Killing of Charlie Gard.”

Stories homed in on the denial of the parents’ right to take their child to the United States for a treatment that might save him. Social media lit up with dark warnings about what lay ahead for the United States, if it follows the path toward socialized medicine.

The case has gotten so much attention that even the Vatican weighed in.

Charlie Gard himself is unaware of all the controversy that surrounds him as he lies in a bed at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. But the infant has, no doubt, the full attention of his parents, in what may be his final days, or hours.

Charlie was born last August with an extremely rare, fatal condition called encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, or MDDS. The boy has severe brain damage, is unable to breathe on his own, and experiences frequent seizures.

In March, doctors decided that there was nothing more they could do for Charlie, and they recommended that his parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, withdraw his ventilator. Instead, his parents raised £1.3 million on a crowdfunding site to pay for an experimental treatment in the U.S. The hospital, in accordance with British law, applied to the courts to forestall further treatment, National Review Online said. In April a judge denied the family permission to take Charlie to America. Three Court of Appeal judges upheld the ruling in May and three Supreme Court justices dismissed a further challenge by the parents. On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights turned down the family’s final appeal, clearing the way for the hospital to remove life support.

Read more at Aleteia. 

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