With the debate on health care still raging in the United States, and politicians such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren demanding the imposition of single payer, government-run healthcare, it may be useful to examine how such systems work where they have been instituted. Hence, we have the case of little Charlie Gard, an infant suffering from a rare genetic disorder who has been condemned to die by great britain’s socialist health system.

Who is Charlie Gard?

Charlie was born in August 2016, apparently a healthy baby. Subsequently, he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome which causes progressive weakening of the muscles and brain damage.

There is no recognized cure. Charlie is being kept alive on a ventilator as of this writing.

Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, found an American doctor who was willing to try an experimental treatment that might effect a cure. They set up a GoFundMe page and managed to raise the 1.3 million British pounds that would be needed to transport Charlie via an air ambulance to the United States for the treatment.

However, Charlie’s British doctors as the Great Ormond Street hospital refused permission to his parents to take their son to America, stating that he should be taking off the ventilator and allowed to die. Connie and Chris went through the British court system and were rejected at every turn.

The last straw was an attempt to appeal to a European human rights court in France. There to the parents were turned away.

To add insult to injury, Connie and Chris were refused permission to take Charlie home to die and to wait until his relatives could gather to say goodbye. Charlie has to die, the sooner, the better, for the convenience of the British National Health Service.

What does this case say about British health care?

The cruelty and inhumanity of the British National Health Service have shocked the world a number of times. Several years ago, the British press exposed a system called "The Liverpool Care Pathway" that killed elderly patients by denying them fluids and treatment. The pathway was eventually abolished under public pressure, but a new system that will still hasten the deaths of patients deemed to be dying, based on subjective judgments, is still in effect.

The wishes of the patient or his or her relatives are not taken into account.

The sad truth of the matter is that under single payer, saving money is often an incentive for terminating patients if their treatment is considered too expensive and unlikely to be of any help. In the case of Charlie Gard, death is being administered by a heartless bureaucracy that would allow an infant to die rather than give up control over the fate of a patient. That is how single-payer, government-run health care works.