Baby Charlie Gard’s hospital claims his current ‘existence…is offering him no benefit’
LONDON, England, July 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Great Ormond Street Hospital is arguing that it should be allowed to take Charlie Gard off life support because there's "no benefit" to allowing him to stay alive.
A July 6 article from The Telegraph highlights the arguments the hospital initially made in court as it was arguing for Charlie to be removed from life support:
Katie Gollop QC, who led Great Ormond Street's legal team, suggested that further treatment would leave Charlie in a "condition of existence."
She said therapy proposed in the USA was "experimental" and would not help Charlie.
"There is significant harm if what the parents want for Charlie comes into effect," she told appeal judges. "The significant harm is a condition of existence which is offering the child no benefit."
She added: "It is inhuman to permit that condition to continue."
Children facing diagnoses similar to Charlie's have made incredible progress in their recovery. Their parents have pointed this out and spoken in favor of Chris Gard and Connie Yates, Charlie Gard's parents.
Now, the case is back in court. On Monday, Mr. Justice Francis wouldn't dismiss the case, as the hospital wanted, but said Thursday that he'll hear arguments in favor of keeping Charlie alive. His parents have less than 48 hours to give the court new "evidence."
Charlie's parents' lawyers argue that the proposed experimental treatment wouldn't hurt Charlie and that there's at least a 10 percent chance it would bring about significant improvements for him. They've raised more than $1 million from private donations to fund his transfer to another hospital, but so far the courts have said they can't do this. The hospital, not Charlie's parents, must be allowed to decide when to remove his life support, the courts have ruled so far.
"The book is not closed on Charlie Gard, and little Charlie still has a chance," said Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life. She's in England assisting Chris and Connie with Rev. Patrick Mahoney and Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri Schiavo.
"I am Charlie. We all are Charlie. He could be my child, or your child, or any one of us," said Foster. "The life and death struggle facing Charlie’s parents could happen to anyone, which is why we are fighting alongside them for their right to determine their son’s welfare. As a mother, I could not stand by as Charlie’s parents so bravely fought to seek life-saving care for their son."
"Here we have an institution created to serve the most vulnerable in our society and hired to care for little Charlie, yet this institution is battling against Charlie’s parents to strip them of their rights," Foster continued. "No matter how diverse and pluralistic we are as a culture, there is one thing that unites us all: the family. We all want a better future for our children, and that's why families worldwide are responding so strongly to Connie and Chris's fight to give Charlie a chance."
Despite the hospital's claim that Charlie is in a "condition" that would be "inhuman" to continue, his mother notes they have "nothing to lose" by simply letting him be transferred elsewhere for experimental treatment.
These two quotes show the vastly different worldviews at play in this bioethics case. One worldview says an arbitrary definition of quality of life is enough to take a child from his parents and remove his life support. The other sees the intrinsic value in each human being, and that the parents who loved him into the world, not an institution of strangers, ought to have the final say in his medical decisions.