Charlie Gard’s parents call for law to protect babies like Alfie Evans
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LONDON, April 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Charlie Gard’s parents have praised Alfie Evans’ parents and voiced support to a change in the laws regarding parental wishes in medical care.
Like Alfie Evans, the late Charlie Gard was an infant whose parents were unsuccessful in having him transferred to a hospital outside the United Kingdom for continued treatment. He died last July at the age of 11 months.
Today Connie Yates, Charlie’s mother said, “For those who have not been in a situation like this, it is impossible to understand the pain Tom and Kate are going through.”
“When we were fighting for our son, Charlie Gard, to be given a chance to try a treatment that could have improved his quality of life, we realised that cases like these would keep happening until the law was changed,” she continued. “Tragically, this has proven to be true.”
Yates said that since Charlie died last July, she and Charlie’s father Chris have been working with pediatricians, medical ethicists, lawyers, politicians and other parents who have been hurt by existing legislation to propose a law that will save parents from the suffering of “painful and prolonged conflicts” with medical staff.
“This involves addressing problems around the 'best interests' test as well as creating a platform for transparency and openness so that cases like these can be dealt with before they ever reach the courts.”
The parents had been calling such hoped-for legislation “Charlie’s Law” while also working on a foundation set up in their son’s memory.
“Once cases are public it is difficult for people to be fully aware of the complexities and this often leads to ill informed judgements on both sides and creates unnecessary conflicts,” Yates said.
“We have something that is better for everybody - hospitals, healthcare professionals, families with sick children, the NHS, and the reputation of our own government.”
She asked those new to the fight to take into consideration the work already done in the memory of Charlie Gard.
“We would ask those pushing for law change to take account of the careful work already done, and join us as we continue to push for a solution that is best for all involved,” she said.
In the ‘Alfie’s Law’ campaign, Steven Woolfe, MEP, joined forces with the "Parliament Street" lobby group in their work to stop parents being "sidelined" during the care of their sick children at government-funded hospitals.
“Parents are being side-lined in the care of their children, in what are highly complicated moral decisions,” said a spokesman for the group. “We strongly believe it is time for a change in the law to re-empower parents to have a say in the treatment of their children. We know that MPs have the power to change this to help children and their parents in future, and call on them to address this."