The battle over the life of baby #Charlie Gard, who is suffering from a genetic defect, continues. Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Center, has evaluated Charlie, has taken a brain scan and has announced that his proposed experimental treatment has at least a ten percent chance of having some benefit. However, despite spending five hours with Charlie’s British doctors. Dr. Hirano did not convince them to sign off on taking him to America for treatment. Their position remains adamant. Let Charlie die.

The United States Congress steps in

In the meantime, the #United States Congress is moving to pass a bill that will give Charlie and his parents' residency status so that they can come to #The United States for treatment.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Remarkably, even if the bill is passed and signed into law, it would be illegal for Charlie to leave the hospital where he is fighting for life and leave the United Kingdom without the approval of a judge, the same one who ruled that he should be “allowed to die.”

Why are the British doctors being so obstinate?

In the ordinary course of events, one would imagine that any physician who adhered to the Hippocratic Oath would allow Dr. Hirano to try his treatment, even if in the way of a compromise he would administer it at the Great Ormond Street Hospital. However, Charlie’s British doctors are standing fast in their position that the baby must die. Hot Air suggests two reasons this has been the case,

The British doctors are suffering from a god complex are have become affronted that their judgment is being questioned, even by an expert on the condition that Charlie is suffering from.

Advertisements

Possibly because Dr. Hirano is an American, the pushback has a nationalistic aspect to it.

A somewhat more sinister reason suggests itself in the politics of government run health care. If Hirano is allowed to treat Charlie and he does improve, the entire National Health Service system in Great Britain will take a hit to its credibility. The NHS was willing to let Charlie die, but someone from America, which does not have government health care for most people, could save him. The political fallout would be intolerable.

The problem is that the horse has already fled the barn in this case. Conservatives have pointed to the passion of Charlie Gard as proof that single payer health care is not only unworkable but positively immoral. Whether Charlie lives or dies, the British NHS, just as with the Liverpool Pathway scandal, has been laid bare as a human rights violation.