by Stephanie Curry
Recently, two families burst into the international spotlight because the law did not defend the parents’ ultimate rights to protect the very lives of their children.
The first story centers around infant Charlie Gard, who was born with a fatal genetic disorder in London. The hospital treating Charlie refused to allow his parents to move him to the U.S. to seek pioneering medical treatment. The hospital aggressively argued it would be inhumane to keep Charlie alive because of his condition, and life-sustaining treatment was withheld despite his parents’ desperate battle in court. Charlie died at 11 months old, after his ventilator was removed by medical workers.
The second story involves Simon Crosier, who was born in Missouri with a genetic condition. Like Charlie, treatment for Simon’s disorder was considered by doctors to be “futile,” and he was not expected to live long. At three months, he struggled to breathe. His oxygen levels plummeted. Yet, no one rushed to his aid. Hospital staff remained eerily quiet and distant as Simon’s parents watched him die. Simon’s doctors, without his parents’ knowledge or consent, had placed a “do not resuscitate” order into his file. The Crosiers were stunned when they discovered that doctors could secretly decide their son’s life was not theirs to protect. Since that time, the Crosiers have worked diligently to pass laws that will give parents the legal right to make the final decision regarding life-sustaining treatment for their child.
In fact, Family Policy Alliance of Kansas worked with allies in that state to pass the very first “Simon’s Law” earlier this year. It will protect babies like Simon.
Family Policy Alliance and our state allies will be working hard in 2018 to ensure children can be lovingly protected by their parents through “Simon’s Law” legislation. If Charlie’s parents or Simon’s parents had had the benefit of such laws, they would have had the final word on their child’s life-giving medical care – not hospitals.
We believe children are given by God to, intimately known by, and lovingly protected by their parents — first and foremost. That means it is the parents’ God-given responsibility to protect and preserve the lives of their children. Thank you for continuing to partner with us as we fight to let parents parent across the country.
This is part 2 of 5 in our Let Parents Parent series on the importance of protecting parental rights for families.