RIP Charlie Gard

Little Charlie Gard has died after being taken off of life support. While it was proven that little Charlie had no brain function, and could not survive without machines, the idea that his parents were denied the right to seek treatment for him as they saw fit is an abomination. And the truth of the matter is that when the parents wanted to move Charlie to the US he still had brain function. It was the court case that dragged on that actually took Charlie’s right to try an alternative treatment away. No one knows if the treatment would have done anything to help Charlie when the parents sued to take Charlie in order to bring him to the US, but because the Courts dragged out the case for so long there was no point anymore to even try to help the little boy beyond just allowing him to die. That the Courts in the UK, and the doctors, decided that they knew what was best for Charlie and not his parents, because his parents “act out of love,” is disgusting. This court and these doctors actually are saying that because you love your children you have no right to decide how to fight for their future. What totalitarian bullshit is this?

It is always out of love that we do for our children. It is out of love for my sons that we rejected the advice of the so-called autism experts over 2 decades ago, and forged our own path for our sons. And we still forge that path everyday to try to give them the future of their choosing, which is their right as human beings not to be beholden to the ignorance, whims, or vagaries of anyone else’s decisions. Their life needs to be on their terms and their terms alone.

When the government decides that it knows best what your choices should be in life, then that is a tyranny. And as parents of special needs children, or as disabled adults ourselves, the idea that we would not be given the same rights to life, or treatment, because our existence is not deemed worthy enough is the stuff of eugenics, and quite frankly an extension of Nazism. We already see that in modern medicine different choices are made for the disabled at times, but at least we have an out, we have courts to help us in some small way today, and laws that do still protect the civil rights of the individual.

But the case of Charlie Gard teaches us that what can be given, can also be taken away. That is why we need to remember that the US is still not the UK. That our rights come from Nature and Nature’s God and not some unseen autonomous bureaucratic elite.

This Charlie Gard case is a reminder of the Pelletier case in Massachusetts from several years back. This was where doctors and courts decided that they knew better what the girl needed and not her parents as far as her medical condition. It took 18 months for that family to get their child back, and they are now suing the State of Massachusetts. I hope this family destroys the self-righteous self-important incompetent social service know-it-alls of that government, along with the doctors who abused that child by denying her proper medical care. This is what happens when you give a legislature too much say in the everyday running of people’s lives.

For those who think single payer healthcare is the care of the future, let this be a warning to you. When the government has full control of your health and life choices, you are no longer free, but at the mercy of a bureaucracy that has no care beyond its own perpetuation. As example: even though there was medical evidence to support the parents care of the child, all the doctors and the bureaucrats cared about in the Pelletier case, was not being proven wrong.

While we debate healthcare in the US, let us stay aware of the consequences of our choices. Let us remember that the more power you give the government, the less humanity goes into each life effecting decision. We, in this country, need a better balance than they have in the UK. We need to find an answer that provides affordable healthcare to every person, while not allowing the government to be the arbiter of who lives and who dies. Don’t give away your, or your child’s, right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Don’t look for a quick fix, and end up giving away your humanity.


Something that was pointed out to me online was that there are different legal requirements in the UK than in the US. In the UK, parents are not the “owners” of their children but merely the caretakers of them until they reach majority. They are responsible for their welfare, and that is all. So when the state deems a parent is not exercising do care in raising their children they have a right, nay a duty to intervene. Here in the US, parental rights are paramount and it is rare that a court or anyone intervenes to prevent parental choice.

It is therefore, a straw man when people, like Melanie Phillips, talk about the “welfare of the child,” since the UK and the US view this legal precept differently. They try to show how in the US courts can intervene to require care, as if that is the same as taking care away from Charlie Gard. It is not. At no time has a court in the US denied care to a child. The only time you find courts intervening is to insist on care. In fact, even when there is a disagreement about care, the hospitals and doctors try to find a reasonable solution to follow the family’s wishes.

The problem, as I noted above, is not that hospitals or doctors may not care about their patients, or that they are unfeeling. The issue at hand is that they are fallible, as in the case for my sons and Justine Pelletier, except courts can and do treat them as omnipotent. In the US, in general, parents, who know their child best, have the right to the last say. In fact, when there is a divergent medical opinion, it is the right of the parent to decide which course to take, and not up to quarreling doctors (as what happened with Pelletier, and the basis of the lawsuit).

Many in the UK see those of us in the US using the Charlie Gard case for our own interests. Actually, that is beyond an elitist and insulting position. Those of us disgusted by the usurpation of parental right in the Gard case are not all “right to lifers” or “demented evangelicals.” We are Americans who are loathe to allow the government harpies to decide our future for us. Charlie Gard case is a warning to the overbearing and unbridled power of a government that deems the average person too stupid to make their own life decisions. It is anathema to the American mindset to allow others to decide your future.

The irony here is that even right leaning pundits, such as Melanie Phillips,  sided with the hospital over the parents. This shows how deeply ingrained in the UK is the supremacy of the State, and the holiness of doctors. That is not the US.

There is no question that we owe much of our legal and political under pinnings to the British way of thinking. However, the period of the Revolution is where we diverge, and in fact post WW2 is where we completely separate. While the British have become more complacent and less independent, the US has surged to the other side and despite the encroachment of certain aspects of socialist thought and programs, we remain a fiercely independent minded people. It’s why thousands upon thousands try to stake their claim in out nation. Not because we hand out welfare left and right, but here in the US you can still decide your own future and your own fate.

In the US we are taught to think for ourselves. To not accept as sacrosanct the notions that there are those better suited to decide our fate. We are taught to question, evaluate and analyze every aspect of our lives. We are our choices, and in the US we believe we are entitled to live by them without interference, including the choices we make for our children.



About Elise "Ronan"

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