The doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital seem to have had a Change Of Heart where the best interests of baby Charlie Gard are concerned. Previously, physicians who work for Britain’s National Health Service were pretty sure that nothing could be done for Charlie. He is suffering from a rare genetic abnormality, and they thought it would be best if he were allowed to die by having his life support apparatus withdrawn. However, the hospital has informed Charlie’s parents that it is now willing to explore options and have applied for a judicial hearing to be allowed to do so.

Why the sudden change of heart concerning Charlie?

The official line is that Great Ormond has received fresh evidence concerning the proposed treatment from two international hospitals that have given Charlie’s doctors pause. Seven medical experts have written a letter to the hospital suggesting that unpublished data exists that the treatment could be of help to the ailing infant.

What is the real reason for the new attitude?

One might be forgiven for the suspicion that the real reason for the change of heart has less to do with “new evidence” concerning the possibility that Charlie might receive treatment that will make him better than the fact that the international outcry has become so intense that allowing the baby to die will be unsupportable.

If Charlie Gard were to be terminated, no one who works at Great Ormond Hospital would be able to escape the taint that would cause. The spectacle of a soulless, heartless government run health care system willing to end the life of a little baby for its convenience was just too much to bear.

What happens now?

Apparently, Great Ormond has to petition a judge for permission for Charlie to get treatment, since it went to so much trouble to obtain a judgment getting leave to allow him tp doe.

One can just imagine what will go through the mind of the judge when that happens. Presumably, the judge can watch the news as well and will grant the petition.

Then, Charlie will either be transported to America to receive the experimental treatment, or the treatment will be brought to him in London. Then either he will live, perhaps with his life circumscribed because of the damage he has already suffered, or he will die anyway.

In the latter case, at least Charlie’s parents will know that they did all they could. Indeed, they will have confronted their country’s medical and legal establishments that so eagerly wanted to end their child’s life and will have prevailed.