Government-run health care system to kill child against the wishes of his parents

The National Health Service is government-run socialist health care
The National Health Service is government-run socialist health care

I was asked to blog about this story by Trina, and so I will.

Here is the straight news story from Fox News:

The mother and father of a brain-damaged 11-month-old baby on Friday were sitting bedside with the boy after losing a legal battle that would have kept the boy on life support.

The Wall Street Journal reported that doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, who are caring for Charlie Gard received permission from a court to discontinue life support.

The boy’s parents objected to the decision and wanted to take him to the U.S. for an unproven, experimental therapy.

[…]On Tuesday, the parents lost a bid to take Charlie to the U.S. for trial therapy when the European Court of Human Rights sided with earlier rulings that continued treatment would cause “significant harm” and that life support should end. 

The ECHR decision followed other decisions by British courts, all of which sided against the parents. The courts decided that the government-run NHS health care system should kill the child, rather than allowing the parents to bring the child to the US to try the experimental treatment.

National Review summarizes the reasoning of the judges:

According to the Honourable Mr. Justice Nicholas Francis of the High Court’s Family Division, who authored the decision subsequently upheld by the higher courts, death is “in Charlie’s best interests.” There was no “scientific basis” for believing that Charlie would respond positively to the experimental American treatment; meanwhile, there is “unanimity among the experts from whom I have heard that nucleoside therapy cannot reverse structural brain damage.” “If,” wrote Justice Francis, “Charlie’s damaged brain function cannot be improved, as all agree, then how can he be any better off than he is now?” It was “with a heavy heart,” the judge said, that he sided with the doctors. Charlie should be permitted “to die with dignity.”

[…]So it was that successive courts in the United Kingdom and in Europe simultaneously found that Connie Yates and Chris Gard had devoted themselves unhesitatingly to their son’s welfare for ten months, and also that Yates and Gard could not be trusted to act in their son’s best interests.

Connie Yates and Chris Gard pay the salaries of this leftist judges and leftist NHS doctors. If these judges were elected, and these doctors were in the private sector, then the parents’ wishes would matter. But since the money disappeared in taxes, there is no accountability. The government actors have already collected the money from the parents, and now they don’t care what the parents want any more. They won’t even let them bring their child to the United States for treatment that their primitive government-run system can’t offer.

But it’s worse than that – the NHS won’t even let the parents take the child home to die.

Hot Air explains:

The couple had raised nearly £1.4 million for that effort, which would have ended NHS involvement in the case, but the courts decided that they — and not the parents — were in position to decide that death rather than potential treatment was what was best for the child. Now the parents cannot even take the baby home to allow him to die there rather than in hospital, even though they pledged to cover all the costs.

[…]In a single-payer system such as NHS, the courts have clearly ruled that the state has more standing on whether to allow someone to die than the person or his/her nearest relations. And now, the state — through its socialized-medicine providers — refuse to even allow the death to take place under the circumstances desired by the family.

Lest you think that this is an isolated incident, there are a number of other failures of socialized medicine linked in this article by libertarian Daniel Mitchell, writing for CNS News. When Obamacare was being debated, I was easily able to find dozens of NHS horror stories. Just imagine that the losers at the post office or the bureau of motor vehicles were providing you with health care. That’s the NHS. They don’t care about you, they’ve already got their money from your taxes. They have no competition from other players in a free market, so they don’t care. THEY DON’T CARE.

I should note that the UK’s socialized medicine system does allow young women to get breast enlargements, and women also get free IVF treatment. All paid for by taxpayers, of course. The first duty of politicians is to get re-elected. When you put health care in the hands of politicians, they use health care to redistribute taxpayer money in order to buy votes.

3 thoughts on “Government-run health care system to kill child against the wishes of his parents”

  1. “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”

    –Matthew 25:40b–

  2. Wintery knight, I appreciate majority of your post, comments. However, I would like to point out some key words in this blog: Brain damaged, scientific basis, life support , kill child.
    Since we are science base oriented in our approach let us examine from what we can gleam given what we know. In your blog you focus on socialized medicine which I believe miss the big picture. We have an unfortunate child who has a rare disease: infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, on life support, brain damaged– extend we do not know ie what was child like prior to being current situation. Parents raise good sum of money for a untried experimental treatment in US. Court involved and decided for termination of life support for child.
    It should be noted:
    1) Prior to court involvement the hospital will have bioethicists, lawyers, risk management personnel involve. They would have discuss with parents and when an impasse occur than the decision would be to the court. It should be understood that there are steps or procedure hospitals go through before it come to this unfortunate step. These steps or protocol occurs irregardless of socialized or US type of practice.
    2) As Christian we recognize tension between Sanctity of Life and the progress of medicine. The latter does pose a ” problem” in that when life is prolong we need to ask what will the ” Quality of Life ” be like? Does it alleviate or worsen it and what are the chances ie 20%, 30% etc better. Elderly, and unfortunate child and family struggle with decisions as to live their last days on earth with : What Quality of Life? For how long? and at what cost in terms of financial, emotional? Are we grabbing at straws?
    3) It is easy for arm chair theologian to throw up objections based on superficial understanding of scriptures and or bioethics , but another thing when one is in the mud struggling, seeing your love one ,day after day, week after week, months after months with very, very unrealistic capability of recovery. And even if recovery is possible what Quality of Life does that person have?
    4) Termination of life support : Death is not intentionally caused by stopping life support but the disease is responsible for death. Remember technology or progress of medicine, tension with Sanctity of Life.
    5)We should also be able to distinguish between a)ordinary and b) extraordinary means of management. By ordinary I mean disease can be treated and there is a reasonable hope of benefit to patient without being excessively burdensome to family, society. Extraordinary means is the opposite where very unrealistic goals, unrealistic hope and place undue burdens on the patient, society.
    In conclusion. A word of caution in regards to the use scarce and very, very expensive medical resources on treatment that is futile. We should also be cognizant about sanctity of life does not mean every patient receive indefinitely the most aggressive treatment available. One should lastly not forget that yes Death is to be resisted through reasonable medical means however our eternal destiny is beyond death.

    1. I believe John Jefferson Davis (a professor of theology and ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, who did his undergraduate at Duke in Physics) wrote “Evangelical Ethics” (now in its 4th edition, 2015) and addressed some of the issues — i.e., https://www.amazon.com/Evangelical-Ethics-Issues-Facing-Church/dp/0875526225 (see pages 183ff in the chapter on “Infanticide and Euthanasia”, section: “Death, Dying, and Euthanasia.”)

      In any case, one should delineate cure vs. care (or “sustaining life” vs. “prolonging dying.”) Davis puts it, “There is no moral obligation to prolong artificially a truly terminal patient’s irreversible and imminent process of dying… The point of any form of medical treatment is to cure the patient, or if curing is not possible, at least to contribute to a reasonable expectation of life and level of comfort.”

      I think Davis also addressed the financial question (that it is not being a good steward of money if you incur incredible debt or even have to use up a lot of money to gamble on a questionable cure).

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