Vatican, U.S. Offer to Help Family of Charlie Gard

on Jul 12, 2017 at 10:26 PM in Politics, Society, Europe

The battle for the life of Charlie Gard, a 10-month-old born with a rare genetic condition, intensifies as protesters and world leaders join the action.

Over the weekend hundreds of protesters gathered outside Buckingham Palace, chanting, “We are Charlie’s army" and “Save Charlie Gard," while some carried a banner reading, “It’s Murder." The demonstration was in opposition to the tyrannical court ruling to remove the baby from life-support against his parents' wishes and efforts to save their son’s life. reports that the organizer of the protest, 17-year-old Alex Nagel, stated, “We wanted to support Charlie and show him love,” adding, “I’m only 17, but when I grow up one day, when I have children, I would want anyone to support me the way I’m supporting them.”

Another rally calling for “justice for Charlie” took place in Lincoln, England headed by Charlene Barnes. She stated, “I want him to be allowed home to spend the last few hours with his mummy and daddy who have been stripped of their rights.” She added, “It’s so unfair, but they have so many people supporting them.”

The accuracy of Barnes’ statement is evident, as this case has drawn international attention — and action as well. President Trump has offered to help the family however possible, stating in a tweet, “If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the pope, we would be delighted to do so.”

A top U.S. government official told the Washington Examiner:

Upon learning of baby Charlie Gard’s situation, President Trump has offered to help the family in this heartbreaking situation.

Although the president himself has not spoken to the family (he does not want to pressure them in any way), members of the administration have spoken to the family in calls facilitated by the British government.

The president is just trying to be helpful if at all possible.

A report from Yahoo News claims an anonymous U.S. hospital has offered free treatment for baby Charlie. “Due to legal issues, we cannot confirm the name of doctor or hospital where the baby could be treated in the United States,” said a White House spokesperson.

Also prepared to open its doors to Charlie and his parents is Rome’s Bambino Gesu Hospital, a pediatric hospital owned by the Vatican. President of the hospital, Mariella Enoc, in a press release, quoted a tweet from Pope Francis, ““Defend[ing] human life, especially when it is wounded by sickness, is a commitment of love that God entrusts to every man.” She added:

The Holy Father’s words, regarding little Charlie, summarize well the mission of the Bambino Gesu hospital. That is why I asked the Health Director to verify with London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, where the newborn is hospitalized, if the health conditions exist for Charlie’s eventual transfer to our hospital. We know that the case is desperate and that, apparently, effective therapies do not exist.

On July 2, the pope addressed a message to Charlie’s parents via spokesman Greg Burke, stating, “The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the affair of little Charlie Gard and expresses his closeness to his parents.” He added, “Pope Francis prays for them hoping that their desire to accompany and care for their child to the end is not disregarded.”

Bobby Schindler, president of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network, noted, “Charlie Gard’s life is more valuable than British and European bureaucrats realize.”

The Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network is an organization committed to upholding “human dignity through service to the medically vulnerable," according to their mission statement. The group has assisted more than 2,500 patients and families, in cases similar to that of Charlie Gard.

Schindler stated,

The central issue of the Charlie Gard struggle is not about rationing, limited resources, or even life support. At issue is whether universal healthcare means that bureaucrats and judges will determine appropriate treatment, or whether parents like Charlie’s with the energy, finances, and physicians to care for their child will be allowed to do so.... We don’t need judges posing as anguished moral philosophers, weighing what makes a life worth living. We simply need them to rule on whether mothers and fathers have an inalienable right to care for their own children. Are we better off in a society where government officials are encouraged literally to separate loved ones from each other? Is it better for Charlie Gard to live and die at home with his family, or in a state institution?

Schindler raises valid concerns that seem to be plaguing many who are following this story, as one of the main complaints regarding this case is the blatant disregard of the parents’ rights. The right to life is also at stake, not just for baby Charlie, but for everyone like him hereafter, if the government is allowed to continue weighing what makes a life worth living.

As of yet, the young London couple's requests for treatment for their son, or the ability to bring him home to die, have been repeatedly denied. And though there has been no official response to the offers, the hope and reasonable expectation is that the attempts from the United States and the Vatican will move the Great Ormond Street Hospital officials, who have remained silent on the issue since the unjust ruling, to release the child to the loving and rightful hands of his parents.


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