Anorak

Anorak | Charlie Gard is allowed to die

Charlie Gard is allowed to die

by | 24th, July 2017

The legal fight for Charlie Gard’s future is over. The desperately ill child’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have ended their five-month court battle for their son to be released from care at Great Ormond Street Hospital and undergo experimental treatment in the USA. They accept that the damage to their 11-month-old’s muscle and tissue is “irreversible”.

It was ever the expert opinion heard at the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights and the Vatican that Charlie Gard should be allowed to die. His parents and thousands of others, many of whom donated to a fund to send Charlie to the US, disagreed. On twitter they pleaded #dontkillcharlie and became part of #charliesarmy.

Big media fanned the story. In the Daily Mail, we read Connie’ words: “When I think about willingly turning off Charlie’s life support, with him dying in our arms, I cry uncontrollably… He has chubby, squeezable little legs, his hair needs to be combed more.”

Emotion or ethics? Hope or reason? Parental love or the pragmatic State? Pick you side.

Today Connie Yates told the the judge: “We have always believed that Charlie deserved a chance at life.” He said time had been “wasted” on legalities. “Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy,” she continued. “He may well have had some disabilities later on in life but his quality of life could have been improved greatly… Now we will never know what would have happened if he got treatment but it’s not about us. It’s never been about us. It’s about what’s best for Charlie now. At the point in time when it has become too late for Charlie we have made the agonising decision to let him go.”

Mr Justice Francis was at pains to remind everyone that in “this country children have rights independent of their parents”. He added: “The world of social media doubtless has very many benefits but one of its pitfalls, I suggest, is that when cases such as this go viral, the watching world feels entitled to express opinions, whether or not they are evidence-based.”

The watching word expressing opinion is never a pitfall. It’s glorious. But ultimately, it was futile.



Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink