- Dec 14, 2019
A decision on Monday by the parents of Charlie Gard, an 11-month-old infant battling a rare genetic disorder, to drop their legal battle to purse experimental treatment and to “let our son go and be with the angels” leaves no one rejoicing. However, the question will have to be raised: Which is closer to a Catholic ethical standpoint — the American approach or the British?
The parents of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard have decided to end their legal battle to save their baby’s life. Their decision came after an American neurologist told them that it was too late to try an experimental treatment in the United States. The child’s plight drew attention from both Pope Francis and President Donald Trump.
Pro-life activists celebrated the decision by a London court to allow a U.S. neuorologist to go to the U.K. in order to visit Charlie Gard, an 11-month-old baby suffering from a rare degenerative disease, whose parents’ battle in order to provide him with a possible cure and keep him on life support has been at the center of a heated debate.
In an interview, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia explains the Vatican’s Academy for Life’s new strategy and vision and the important role non-Catholic members could play in promoting them. The archbishop wants the academy to aim to be missionary in outlook, seeking to tackle what he calls “the great frontiers of life” in collaboration with believers of other churches and faiths as well as non-believers.
A neurologist who testified via video July 13 at a court hearing on baby Charlie Gard will now travel to London to examine the child. The doctor believes the 11-month-old has at least a 10 percent chance of improving under his treatment, and possibly as high as a 56 percent chance.
The Charlie Gard case makes us consider the two great dangers of modern medicine: To reject the apparently ugly reality of disability and deformity by killing off human beings that fail to make the grade; and to prolong life at all costs, to impose experimental treatments on a dying baby, to rage against the passing of a tiny life by clutching at the straws of technology.