Charlie Gard; the Fundamental Divide

The Charlie Gard affair became quite a divisive thing. (But also brought some people together, like Senator Cruz, President Trump, and Pope Francis, a trio that seems rather unlikely, but who all agreed here.) Particularly between the American Right to Life movement and some of our friends. One of the people in Britain whom I respect a good deal is Melanie Phillips, I’ve read and listened to her for years, and she is a spokesman for common sense and yes conservatism. But on this issue something strange happened. Watch.

The problem is fundamental, in our view of who owns a baby. Let’s let Lady Penguin of Unified Patriots spell it out.

Recently, William McGurn of the WSJ, wrote a thoughtful and compassionate article regarding the situation of Charlie Gard. WSJ has a paywall, here is another source:
I agreed 100% with Mr. McGurn’s perspective, and had some additional thoughts/perspective to add regarding this tragic story.

Let’s go back to 1930’s Germany. Hitler went through the hospitals and killed the old, the sick, the infirm, and the disabled. Family and friends of loved ones who they expected to return home or at least be cared for in the health institutions of that era, never saw them again. Essentially, the “undesirables” of society ended up as part of the millions killed in the Holocaust. Too few people study Germany and the changes in her cultural institutions before World War II, but that’s critical to ultimately understanding the onset of that war. Germany had to be groomed by Hitler in the 1930’s to pave the way for his plans of taking over Europe and initiating/completing his “Final Solution.” Those plans included not only Jews, but the weak, disabled, elderly and his political opponents.

Charlie Gard’s story gives us a glimpse of this same pathway. Britain’s National Health Service has been set up to “own” the individual – whether child or adult. When Charlie was born and had to be placed in neonatal intensive care, the NHS terminated the parental rights of Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard. The parents have spent precious months fighting for the right to take the baby out of the NHS and come to America where a physician was willing to try an experimental treatment. In baby Charlie’s case, it wasn’t even about money because the parents had independently raised the necessary funds, but it is/was about who has the RIGHT to determine what was best for Charlie.

The parents wanted to try anything possible to save his life – the State decided nothing was possible and took all control of Charlie away from Connie and Chris. This is what happens in a State controlled health service. The parents appealed to the European Union’s High Court, and the decision of the UK Court AND the National Health Service was upheld. Considering what is happening in the Netherlands – their open and almost gleeful embrace of euthanasia, assisted suicide – the EU Court siding with Britain’s NHS is no surprise. Read another WSJ article, “In the Netherlands, the Doctor Will Kill You Now” by Kees van der Staaij.

And that is what set us off, the presumption by the State, for the NHS is nothing but an arm of the state, that it owned little Charlie and that his parents should sit down and shut up, because he was too far gone to live. Probably by the time we got involved he actually was, but that is because the NHS stalled since January. Was that true then? I don’t know, but it’s a troubling question. And that is also why, when the parents said enough is enough, it’s too late, we all simply offered our sympathy, it was their call, with medical advice they trusted, to make. Not the hospital’s cost driven choice. That the hospital felt the need to continue abusing them is unfortunate but unsurprising.  It strikes many of us as a return to pre-Christian paganism, where unwanted children were simply left to die of exposure. Same thing, but hidden in buildings, and by unformed consciences.

And, if we are honest, for whatever cause, that is the difference between America and Europe, including the UK. Americans are, by training and instinct, distrustful of, and suspicious of, anything connected with the government, with overwhelming cause, going back to not only George III, but to the Stuarts, whose views on religion caused a good many of our founders, the Dissenters, to come here, to found that “cittie on the hille” that has come to symbolize so much of America to the world. Only an American would have said, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” And I suspect only Americans understand just how terrifying those words can and should, be.

Daily, thousands of life and death decisions are made in a family regarding life support issues for a loved one. It’s made between the physician, family members, and the patients themselves if they are able to participate. I don’t need to go into the medical details of these types of situations; suffice it to say, it happens, but it is in the hands of the patient, family and physician. Not the State.

The Affordable Care Act had a hidden nugget, outed by Sarah Palin, known as “Death Panels.” This is a fact, and as long as the ACA remains on the books, a non-medical bureaucrat is going to make a decision on whether one gets treatment and lives or gets a pill for pain, and simply dies. Barack Obama once gave the ludicrous example of a 90 year old woman needing a pacemaker…a woman who was alert, functioning and enjoying life, he said maybe they “should just give her a pill (not sure if it was ‘red’ or ‘blue’) for pain instead of a pacemaker…” I’m in the medical field, pacemakers are an everyday, reasonable option. Millions of people have them – rare for a person not to be able to get one. But in Obama’s worldview, and others who think like him, a 90 year grandmother has no meaning or relevancy to society. That’s where he is not only wrong, but it shows the moral decline of a society. It’s our humanity and respect for life – imperfect as it is – which keeps us on a moral path. Once we lose that compass, we lose everything else.

And that is why, beyond our moral revulsion at the actions of the NHS, which is very real, the whole issue is very important to Americans. And there is this.

The Charlie Gards of the world are important, just as the Down Syndrome infants are, or the disabled or the elderly – it keeps our humanity, our Soul. If we deliberately kill – when alternative resources or experimental treatments are available, we’re on our way to the same kind of thinking and mindset which engulfed the Third Reich. No difference.

Update: I want to add two perceptive remarks from the comment thread.

1) Kenny Solomon used the phrase: “genocidal theocracy” – which brings to mind the abortion industry and their rabid supporters.

2) Vassar Bushmills noted: “Never forget, that murder by indifference is the greatest sin before God.

Emphasis mine and a huge tip of the Stetson to PUMABydesign001.

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5 Responses to Charlie Gard; the Fundamental Divide

  1. the unit says:

    So is that the unpardonable sin? I’ve heard there is one. The sayer said it’s rejecting Jesus as Savior.
    And where is Charlie spending eternity? I once, while sitting in a waiting room, heard a lay preacher proclaiming Christ to all persons there say a baby, infant, or child dying without accepting Christ was going to hell. I’m not of that faith, whatever it is!
    Excuse me being indifferent to some murder as follows. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      As always, it’s up to the one true Judge, but I’m fairly certain, particularly since he was baptized, Anglican, I assume, but it doesn’t matter, they’re all valid.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Now you go easy on Ms. Phillips. Swami says she do the best she can. 🙂
        I guess you can take the girl out of the left, but maybe not take all the left out of the girl.
        She say hospital and docs know best and have the best intentions. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yep, it’s just that silly British thing about the government and especially the NHS knowing best. Usually I agree with most of what she says. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/apache-scout-martine-dies?cmpid=email-hist-tdih-2017-0731-07312017&om_rid=32c0eb303cefdf418b1b31ff1b1ff9594579ca83bcc0211620e16f6d72441fb4&om_mid=219781618&kx_EmailCampaignID=14044&kx_EmailCampaignName=email-hist-tdih-2017-0731-07312017&kx_EmailRecipientID=32c0eb303cefdf418b1b31ff1b1ff9594579ca83bcc0211620e16f6d72441fb4

    Like

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