By John Paulton, manager of grassroots mobilization for Family Policy Alliance®
If you’ve followed the saga of Baby Oliver – the British baby with the life-threatening heart tumor – you’ll be glad to know that the good ‘ol U.S. of A. came to this young Brit’s rescue. But how it happened is an amazing saga – and also very instructive to some left-wing American politicians … or at least to their constituents.
Oliver Cameron, in case you weren’t following the limited coverage here in America, is a baby boy born with cardiac fibroma – a large, non-cancerous tumor on the heart. Without surgery, his life would be measured in mere months.
But the National Health Service (NHS), the U.K.’s socialized health care system, informed Oliver’s parents that they didn’t have a single doctor who could do the surgery. Instead, he would be placed on a waiting list for a heart transplant that – even if it came to pass – would probably not extend his life to adulthood.
That’s when his parents, Lydia and Tim, began looking for alternatives. Eventually, they found an answer – in America. Boston Children’s Hospital had successfully performed such a surgery, and the doctors there said Oliver was a good candidate for the same surgery.
Problem solved, right? Hardly. First, the government denied the request to cover the cost of Oliver having surgery in Boston. Then, they denied the request to have the Boston surgeons perform the surgery in the U.K.
So Lydia and Tim took the bull by the horns and began raising donations through an online site to cover the quarter-million-dollar cost. By the time they had raised two-thirds of the money, the NHS decided that they needed to fund the surgery to avoid a public relations nightmare – especially in the aftermath of the death of Charlie Gard, the British boy for whom the NHS had denied free offers of help from international sources, including the Vatican.
The surgery was a complete success. Baby Oliver is reportedly doing exceptionally well.
But his entire episode – particularly on the heels of the Charlie Gard disaster – raises serious questions about why some American politicians want to bring the same, single-payer, government-run health system to our shores.
From Boulder congressman Jared Polis (who is running for Colorado governor) to the latest socialist sensation, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of the Bronx, the Left’s calls for a government takeover of medicine in America are becoming widespread.
But if that happens, where will the Baby Olivers of the world go? The calls for government-run, single-payer healthcare are cloaked in the language of compassion. But as Baby Oliver and Charlie Gard remind us, the real result is cold-hearted government control.
Credit to dailywire.com and The American Spectator for portions of the information contained in this report.
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.
Part 5 Education Choice for Families and a Wide-Open Future for Their Kids
We’ve been following the heartbreaking story of UK baby Charlie Gard and his parents, Chris and Connie, as they’ve fought for the right to bring Charlie to America for experimental treatment that may have helped him.
Yesterday, Charlie’s parents decided to end their legal battle after the latest medical reports showed that Charlie’s condition had deteriorated beyond an ability for any experimental treatment to make a difference. Now, they must face saying goodbye to their son. He will likely not make it to his first birthday on August 4th.
As Charlie’s family prepares to say goodbye, those of us here in America have a responsibility to pray for this family and to consider carefully what Charlie’s parents and their lawyer are saying in news reports: “For Charlie, it is too late…treatment cannot offer a chance of success.”
Charlie’s parents said: “There is one simple reason for Charlie’s muscles deteriorating to the extent they are in now – time. A whole lot of wasted time … our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought.”
Charlie’s parents and attorneys believe that had they been given permission to get Charlie experimental treatment early on, he would not have deteriorated to this point.
We will never know whether the experimental treatment would’ve helped him, but that’s not the point. The point is that Charlie’s parents were willing to fight for his life, as any parent would, but they weren’t given permission to do so.
And this isn’t just a problem “across the pond.” We see parents’ rights being undermined here in America too. Just last year, our state ally in Kansas passed “Simon’s Law” to protect the right of parents to make decisions in life or death situations involving their children. The law is named after baby Simon who died after a “do not resuscitate” order was placed on his chart by a doctor—without his parents’ knowledge!
Parents in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington D.C. can no longer get their kids basic help from a counselor if they are dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion—even if the children have been sexually abused. Meet our friend Rev. Jayson Graves, M. MFT, who shares why this counseling was personally so important to him.
As we work with our alliance of over 40 state family policy groups who speak up for families like yours in nearly every state across the country, we are seeing violations of parental rights occurring more frequently.
Government can set up systems with the intent to help children—like healthcare systems, and child welfare. But, government cannot love a child. God designed parents to fill that role because they are uniquely situated to do so. Parents are also uniquely situated to be children’s greatest protectors because love always protects.
As we work with our alliance of godly statesmen and stateswomen, and state-based family policy groups to protect parental rights in every state, we hope your family will partner with us. We need the resources to prepare these godly legislators to fight for parental rights at every state Capital, so please consider giving here. We also need the partnership of families like yours across the country who are prepared to speak out for parental rights so that no family faces what Charlie Gard’s has, so please also consider sharing this story with your likeminded friends and family. Encourage them to sign up for news updates with us so that we can equip parents in every state!
God’s design for parents and families is good—we hope you’ll join with us in making sure it’s protected across our country!
by Autumn Leva, Director of Policy & Communications
UK baby Charlie Gard has captured hearts across the world as his parents fight for their right to bring him to the United States to see if an experimental treatment will help with his rare genetic disorder. Charlie’s parents were forced to turn to the courts when the hospital decided it would be better to end his life-supporting treatment — even though his parents had raised enough money to take Charlie to the U.S. and pay for the experimental treatment.
Two weeks ago, Charlie’s parents thought they had reached the end of their legal battle. The European Court of Human Rights rejected their final appeal — claiming it would be in Charlie’s best interest to let him die .
But just last week, Charlie’s parents were allowed to re-open the case to present new evidence that the experimental treatment would potentially help Charlie. A New York doctor arrived in London this week to assess Charlie, and the judge has promised to rule by July 25th .
But we now know that the lawyer appointed to represent Charlie (again, against his parents’ wishes) heads up a charity with deep connections to proponents of assisted suicide . Walk with me on this for a moment — this means the legal system decided a person who is not Charlie’s parent is supposed to represent Charlie’s best interests, and that person happens to believe that medical professionals should be able to help people kill themselves when they “no longer have quality of life.” That’s the problem with assisted suicide — bureaucrats should not be able to say that some lives have more quality than others.
Because I am a lawyer, I first started thinking about this situation legally — all the litigation and procedural hoops Charlie’s parents were jumping through to help their son, and the obvious conflict of interest with Charlie’s appointed lawyer. But then, I started seeing news reports on the hearing last week with Charlie’s mom begging the court to listen to them because “he’s our son,” and how both parents stormed out of the hearing in frustration. I started to imagine, what if Charlie were my son? What if it were my son being held hostage by my country’s healthcare and legal systems, telling me Charlie’s life is not worth fighting for, and that bureaucrats know better than my husband and me what’s best for our child?
You better believe I would fight for my child — and I know you would as well.
And the reason we would fight is a biblical principle: Love always protects.
Parents have God-given rights and responsibilities, and protection is both a chief right and responsibility.
At the end of the day, only Charlie’s parents really love him, and only Charlie’s parents will be without their only son if the court rules against them. This is why parents, who love their children and uphold their responsibility to protect them, are the ones who truly know what is best for their kids. Love always protects.
So, we hope you’ll join Family Policy Alliance as we pray for Charlie and his parents, Connie and Chris, as they await a ruling on their son’s fate. We also hope you’ll partner with us, because we promise this — we will always work with our alliance of godly statesmen and stateswomen, state-based family policy groups, and families like yours to advance policies in your state that uphold parental rights, because we know that love always protects. We also promise that we will continue our successful fight opposing assisted-suicide policies and advocating for policies affirming that every life is worth fighting for. Assisted suicide was defeated in all 30 states where it was proposed, with the exception of Washington, D.C.
We hope you’ll join with us to make sure that what baby Charlie and his parents are facing doesn’t happen to any family here in America.
Facebook: Charlie Gard #CharliesFight
Family Policy Alliance is proud to work alongside Eric Teetsel & Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, one of our 40 state-based allies.
Last night, my wife and I fought a battle. It was an hours-long struggle of sweat and tears that left us bruised and exhausted, but we endured and won, eventually.
Our two-year-old went to sleep.
You know what? When she awoke a few (short) hours later, bright-eyed and asking for eggs, we still loved her.
This is a familiar story experienced by millions of parents for thousands of years. There exists a bond between parents and their children that defies logic and rationale. Children are expensive, exhausting, and emotionally draining. Why do this to ourselves?
Because it’s a Holy calling.
When God created the world, He made man and woman and gave them two jobs: cultivate the Earth and fill it with children. In God’s plan, man and woman come together as husband and wife to fulfill their calling to create new life, their children.
In His perfect plan, God takes this mandate and turns it into a blessing:
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)
The precious relationship between children and their parents is also enshrined in the fifth commandment: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you,” (Exodus 20:12).
In our time, as societies choose to move further and further from God’s plan, respect for the relationship between parents and children is diminishing. The latest example comes from the United Kingdom, where baby Charlie Gard has been condemned to die by the government.
Charlie’s parents know that he is worth fighting for – and so does Family Policy Alliance. Stories like this are a reason we fought to pass Simon’s Law in Kansas, legislation which gives parents alone the right to make decisions about their children’s medical care in emergency situations.
The fight to preserve parental rights is not limited to health care. Family Policy Alliance is advocating across a range of public policy issues, including the right to determine a child’s education, preserving family structure in child welfare cases, and more.
Thank you for standing with us.
Will you take time to do two things this week?
First, pray for Charlie Gard and his parents, Chris and Connie.
Second, Kansas—and every state in our nation—needs families like yours willing to be salt and light, boldly standing up for God’s design for parents and families. Will you tell your friends about the Family Policy Alliance policy ally in your state, perhaps by sharing our Facebook page with them or forwarding this email and having them subscribe to receive it?
Social media and our email updates are the best ways we can communicate with you quickly when policies that impact parental rights in your state come up.
P.S. In Kansas, we were able to pass Simon’s Law, protecting parent’s rights over children’s medical care in emergency situations, because families partnered with us and insisted that this was right. Please make sure we’re connected with you in your state—and with your loved ones who care about God’s design for families.