WASHINGTON, D.C., July 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Two Congressmen announced today that next week when Congress returns from recess next week, they will introduce a private bill to make Charlie Gard a permanent resident of the United States.
Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-OH, and Rep. Trent Franks, R-AZ, both strongly pro-life, said in a joint statement that they are introducing this bill to support the rights of Charlie's parents to continue to care for him.
“Despite Charlie’s heartbreaking condition, his parents have refused to give up hope,” the legislators said. “They have advocated for him fiercely. They have raised over £1 million to pay for their son to receive experimental treatment in the United States. They have kept fighting for his life.”
“By making Charlie a lawful permanent resident in the U.S.,” he will be able to “receive treatments that could save his life,” they said.
“Should this little boy to be ordered to die – because a third party, overriding the wishes of his parents, believes it can conclusively determine that immediate death is what is best for him?” they asked.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, Charlie's parents, have been fighting in European courts for their right to bring their 11-month-old to the U.S. for experimental treatment for his rare muscle and brain disease. They raised over $1 million to do this, but English courts sided with the hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital, which wants to remove him from life support rather than allow him to be transferred to another hospital.
Then, the European Court of Human Rights also sided with the hospital. Charlie was scheduled to die on Friday, June 30, but his parents have been granted more time with him. The hospital has the legal right to turn off Charlie's life support at any time now, and his parents aren't allowed to take him out of the hospital.
Today, Great Ormond Street Hospital announced it's asking the High Court to review the case again “in light of the claimed new evidence.”
Human rights activists working with Connie and Chris said this is good news because it gives Charlie a “reprieve” and allows new, compelling evidence to be presented.
“Every human life has dignity, including the lives of those who cannot speak up for themselves,” said Wenstrup and Franks. “When government is able to overrule a parent or guardian in determining a patient’s best interest, every vulnerable patient is put at risk. We offer Connie Yates and Chris Gard our heartfelt support as they seek to care for their son.”
New-York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center have offered to admit Charlie Gard and provide him with an experimental treatment, pending emergency FDA approval. At least once of the hospitals has also offered to provide Great Ormond Street Hospital with the drug if approved, according to Wenstrup's office.