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.
Harlan’s life is Worth Fighting For.
His father, Neil Helgeson, shares the emotional story of Harlan’s difficult early months and the precious value of a human life.
Neil is president of The Arc – Minnesota, an organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Learn more about our Worth Fighting For project.
Doctor-assisted suicide may not be on the ballot in your state, but many states will face this threat in the future. Surprisingly, research indicates even Christians believe the practice does not go against biblical teaching.
John Stonestreet is a Christian author and writer whose work is published at BreakPoint.org. This article first appeared on that site.
Coloradans will vote on an assisted suicide measure this November. Those who vote “Yes” are signing their own death warrants.
In a recent article at National Review Online, George Weigel tells a chilling story about just how far the culture of death has advanced in some parts of the West.
Three elderly parishioners at the Canadian church he attends during the summer were diagnosed with cancer. Now, that’s bad enough. But what followed was even worse. The first thing they were asked after being told their diagnosis was, “Do you wish to be euthanized?”
While this story should upset us, it shouldn’t shock us. Despite all the promises made by supporters of physician-assisted suicide, the so-called “safeguards” against pressuring vulnerable people to end their lives “have proved to be inadequate and have often been watered down or eliminated over time.”
Or, as Belgian law professor Étienne Montero observed, “What is presented at first as a right [to die] is going to become a kind of obligation.”
Thus, in fourteen years Belgium went from euthanizing terminally-ill adults, to killing chronically-ill adults, to offing adults who had lost their will to live, to finally disposing of children.
As Weigel’s story suggests, Canada seems literally hell-bent on catching up with Belgium in this regard. Physician-assisted suicide has only been legal there since this spring and it has already transformed the practice of medicine in Canada. And if some Canadian philosophers get their way, a willingness to kill your patients will be a prerequisite for practicing medicine in the Great White North.
Now it’s Colorado’s turn to play waiting room Russian Roulette. This November my fellow Coloradans and I will vote on Proposition 106, also known by its Orwellian title: “The End of Life Options Act.”
The supporters of the act, which is modeled on California’s recent legislation of the same name, assure voters that a vote for physician-assisted suicide is a vote for “compassion.” They assure us that it will remain limited to cases of extreme suffering.
But as Weigel points out, the language of the proposed act is “duplicitous.” It characterizes killing someone as “palliative care.” And it defines an “adult” as anyone 18 or older, which leads to the absurdity of not being old enough to drink but old enough to request assistance in killing yourself.
And in a backhanded admission of a guilty conscience, the deceased’s death certificate would list the cause of death as the illness they suffered from and not suicide.
If supporters of assisted suicide need to mislead and obfuscate about basic matters such as these, why should we believe their assurances that no one will be coerced into killing themselves? Little wonder that disability advocates oppose the measure.
Colorado history should also give us pause. Thirty-two years ago, then-governor of Colorado, Richard Lamm told a group of health-care lawyers that the terminally-ill elderly have “a duty to die and get out of the way” instead of trying to prolong their lives. He compared the fulfillment of this “duty” to “leaves falling off a tree and forming humus for the other plants to grow up.”
It would be foolish to think that the “right-to-die” won’t, much less can’t, one day become the “duty to die,” especially in an aging society where health care costs as a percentage of the GDP are projected to double over the next 25 years. By the way, also on the Colorado ballot this year is state-run healthcare.
The only way to prevent the “right to die” from becoming a “duty to die” is to reject the “right to die” from the start. Anything else places the most vulnerable—the elderly and especially the disabled—on an already well-greased slippery slope.
Unless the Lord returns, each and every one of us will die of old age, disease, or tragedy. And except in the case of tragedy, if the advocates of so-called compassion have their way, you, I, and our loved ones will end up facing the same question George Weigel’s fellow parishioners were asked: “Do you wish to be euthanized?
Family advocates are likely to make some big gains in state legislatures in 2016.
Family advocates are likely to make some big gains in state legislatures in 2016. At the same time, harmful legislation is threatening families and biblical values in other states.
That puts CitizenLink and our Family Policy Alliance in the center of the action. Here’s a look at the battles that will be decided over the coming weeks and months.
Thanks to political gains in state legislatures in recent elections—made possible through your support of CitizenLink—a number of states stand ready to pass important pro-family measures.
Prospects are especially strong for passing pro-life bills. Following the release of the Planned Parenthood videos last summer, some states, such as Wisconsin, are working to stop taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Others are working to ensure that aborted babies are handled humanely, which helps focus attention on the humanity of each preborn baby.
With the growing attacks on religious freedom, CitizenLink and our state family policy allies are also advancing religious liberty protections. Some, such as in West Virginia, would give broad religious freedom safeguards, while others provide very specific protections. With a strong lobbying effort, several have a good chance of passing.
The bulk of the Left’s attacks at the state level are coming in two areas. First, the homosexual lobby is pushing hard to advance their agenda even further, following the Obergefell same-sex marriage decision. At the top of their agenda is forcing more states—among them Idaho—to give special protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. These laws are at the cutting edge in the assault on religious freedom. Gay activists are also looking to ban counseling that would help lead minors away from homosexuality. Similar bills have already been signed by Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey and in three other states, with Massachusetts among several targets this year.
Meanwhile, euthanasia zealots are trying to build momentum off of their lone victory last year—an assisted suicide bill that had to be rammed through a special session to get it passed in California. CitizenLink and our state allies are part of a strong and diverse coalition that is looking to build on last year’s successes in exposing and defeating these threats to the sanctity of life. Dozens of such bills could be introduced this year, with New York and Maryland facing especially tough battles.