As Americans, we often to look to the United Kingdom for inspiration, innovation and, in some cases, direction. This time we look to the UK and are instead given a grave warning, as we get a glimpse of the evils of a universal healthcare system.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, the parents of 11-month-old baby Charlie Gard, have waged a five-month legal battle to keep their baby alive. Baby Charlie was born with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS), which both parent unknowingly carried and passed on the faulty gene. After Charlie’s birth, Great Ormond Street Hospital, the hospital to which he was born, declared the baby’s disorder irreparable saying the baby ought to die with dignity; applied to have the baby’s life support machines shut off.
His parents appealed to the High Court, the Court of Appeals, the British Supreme Court, and the European Court of Human Rights to reverse the decision and were denied by all. Every court upholding the decision to permit the baby to die.
Great Ormond Street Hospital granted the parents more time with their child, but it would run out. Until American Doctor Michio Hiaro flew to the UK to meet with a series of UK medical professionals with the purpose of convincing them that his experimental research could aid the baby in the U.S. When the doctors were not convinced Congress granted Charlie U.S. citizenship to allow him to come to the U.S. for treatment. President Trump followed up this act by offering to have the medicine delivered to the UK. Pope Francis also offered the family a Vatican passport to bring the baby to an Italian hospital. All offers were shut down by the British Courts.
Justice Francis of the British Courts, after the damage done to the baby was irreversible, approved a plan that would see Charlie inevitably die in Hospice. The baby won’t reach his first birthday.
The left claims a universal healthcare system grants everyone an equal opportunity, and in this case, they are correct, an equal right to die. I still ponder the question as to how a government could decide the life of your child for you or how they could bar any opportunity for revival. As Gerald Ford said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” Sadly, and rather, unfortunately, Charlie and his parents are having to experience this first hand.