New York Presbyterian Hospital has offered to provide potentially life-saving experimental drugs to critically ill Charlie Gard in the United Kingdom. Columbia University and Presbyterian Hospital have also reached out to Charlie’s parents and Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. In addition, President Donald Trump is expected to raise the issue of the 11-month-old baby boy with Prime Minister Theresa May at the G20 Summit in Germany. On July 3, he tweeted an offer of assistance to prevent Charlie’s upcoming euthanasia in London. Pope Francis and the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu hospital have also offered aid.
Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, told Sky News that the pope and Trump “are traditional men who believe in the family. They believe in our case and understand why we believe it is right to continue fighting so hard to save Charlie." She and Charlie’s father, Chris Gard, have been denied authorization to take their baby home or leave the country to seek treatment. Charlie suffers from a rare mitochondrial deficiency syndrome, and has been on life support. The British Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of doctors’ decision to cease treatment was confirmed by the European Court on Human Rights. An Italian medical association rejected those rulings against treatment, judging that it is a “mental attitude “polluting the roots of medical practice.”
"President Trump has a very good understanding of the whole case and he did not make an off-the-cuff tweet," the spokesman said, while Connie Yates told Sky News that both the Pope and Trump “are traditional men who believe in the family. They believe in our case and understand why we believe it is right to continue fighting so hard to save Charlie." Great Ormond Street Hospital was scheduled to pull the plug on Charlie’s life support. However, because of an international outcry, Charlie’s life is on hold. His parents have raised nearly $2 million for his care.
The hospital was to have switched off Charlie’s life support on June 30 but prolonged it after a public outcry. No one is certain whether or not Charlie feels pain, GOSH has said.
Charlie’s parents have raised nearly $2million for experimental life-saving treatment. On Sunday, Pope Francis said that Connie Yates and Chris Gard should be permitted to “accompany and treat their child until the end.” The Vatican’s Bambino Gesu Hospital has offered to care for the boy, but was prevented from doing so due to legal reasons in the UK.
On Thursday, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson expressed agnoticism about Charlie’s right to life and the parents’ right to care for their son, saying that it was a “deeply tragic and complex” case. He added that decisions should be made by “expert medical opinion, supported by the courts, in line with Charlie's best interests."
Scienza & Vita (Science and Life), an Italian medical association, rejected Johnson’s position, which is held by Britain’s high court. Scienza & Vita issued a statement saying, that it recognizes “clinical situations in which the insistence on practicing medical and surgical interventions and treatments is not reasonable, or because it is totally irrelevant to the support of a life that is now ending, or because they are the cause of unnecessary suffering.” The group said that Charlie’s illness is not terminal, nor are ventilation, feeding, and artificial hydration so hard that suspension of treatment is warranted. The association asked why should a “seriously ill child be killed in advance of taking away the care he needs?”
“The justification for the irreversible death sentence inflicted upon Charlie is that this would be his ‘best interests,’” it continues. Underlying this decision, the group said, is “a mental attitude that is polluting the roots of medical practice, legislation and widespread sentiment: the idea that human beings, with a low quality of life, have a lower dignity and worth than others, and that it is unreasonable to waste on them valuable resources that could be destined elsewhere. It is the ‘throw-away’ culture of which the Charlie case has become a tragic symbol.”
Demonstrators gathered at Buckingham Palace in London over the July 1-2 weekend, while protesters gathered on Thursday evening outside Britain’s embassy in Rome. More protests are planned outside the British prime minister’s residence.
Catholic Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, a former Secretary at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said earlier this week that Charlie’s case is an unacceptable step towards euthanasia. The decision to remove care and thus end Charlie’s life, he said, would be a radical departure from civilization. “Death by the state is a horrifying ideological invention.”