Excruciating dilemma over Charlie Gard decision

Francis Osborne
July 6, 2017

By wading into the case in recent days, President Donald Trump and Pope Francis have given Gard and Yates new hope and shined an global spotlight on an ethical debate that pits the rights of parents to decide what's best for their children against the authorities with responsibility for ensuring that people who can't speak for themselves receive the most appropriate care.

Why is this case controversial?

Charlie suffers from a rare genetic disorder and has brain damage.

The baby was originally scheduled to be taken off life support last Friday, but the hospital agreed to give his parents a little more time with him.

Johnson said it is "right that decisions continued to be led by expert medical opinion, supported by the courts", in line with Charlie's "best interests".

How was the decision made to end life support?

The Vatican's children's hospital has offered to take in terminally-ill Charlie Gard after hearing of his plight.

"They covered the United Kingdom proposal for European Union citizens' rights post-Brexit, migration, Afghanistan, and the upcoming Western Balkans conference being chaired by Italy. In this gray zone, I stand by the judgment and do the only thing I can, which is to say, we'll welcome the family and accompany them as the pope asked".

Why has the Pope intervened?

Arab foreign ministers to discuss Qatar in Cairo on Wednesday
But despite the US ties to Qatar , Trump said his priority remains to curb funding for terrorism in the region. Al-Jubeir went on to accuse Qatar of "funding terrorism and interfering in other countries' affairs".

"We must do what advances the health of the patient, but we must also accept the limits of medicine", he said, and, according to Catholic teaching, "avoid aggressive medical procedures that are disproportionate to any expected results or excessively burdensome to the patient or the family".

Paglia's comments reportedly upset some conservative Catholics, who argued that they advocated euthanasia and were patronizing to Charlie's parents.

On Sunday, Pope Francis called for the parents of the baby, who is in a hospital in London, to be allowed to "accompany and treat their child until the end".

Charlie's mother thanked the Vatican children's hospital for their offer, reiterating that "as long as he struggles, we struggle".

The foreign secretary spoke by phone to his Italian counterpart, Angelino Alfano, primarily to discuss policy issues, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.

However, Boris Johnson has expressed doubt that Charlie could be treated overseas, saying decisions on his treatment should be led by expert medical opinion, supported by the courts.

U.S. President Donald Trump has also expressed his intention to help the family, and White House officials have reportedly spoken with the family to offer support.

It comes after US President Donald Trump said he wanted to help 11-month-old Charlie.

Yates said in a statement that she was taking support from Trump and the Pope seriously. We hope and pray that in the wake of this decision, they are able as a family to find peace over the coming days and weeks.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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