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.