The one reason why the left is so disconcerted about the case of Baby Charlie Gard is that he provides such a searing, personal argument against Single Payer, government-run health care. Ruth Graham, writing for Slate, laments the fact that “the right” is already citing the atrocity that is being visited upon Charlie and his parents by the bureaucrats of the British National Health Service. Nicole Russell, writing in the Federalist, suggests that is the very point. Human rights violations of the sort that Charlie is suffering is inherent in socialized medicine.

The argument for killing Charlie Gard

The proponents for killing Charlie (and that is what is being proposed behind the weasel phrases of “death with dignity") argue that the weight of medical evidence suggests that he is so profoundly sick that he is not going to get better no matter what treatment is deployed. So (and this is truly an Orwellian phrase) it is in the best interest of the child that he is “allowed to die.”

British law gives the state wider latitude for government bureaucrats to override the wishes of parents where the well being of their children are concerned than in the United States. This legal regime is inherent in single-payer, government-run health care. If you accept government help you also accept government control, no matter how cruel and unfeeling it can be.

If the state says that your child is not worth living (or, as in the case of the Liverpool Pathway) you are not worth living, then death is the only option/

The argument for trying to save Charlie

Charlie’s parents, through the enormous generosity of the British people, has raised the money necessary for a last-ditch experimental treatment that might (and admirably it is an iffy proposition) that has been developed by Columbia University Medical Center.

The treatment had some success in saving the life of an American child with a similar, albeit less severe condition that Charlie is suffering from.

A legal concept has risen in the United States that is called “the right to try.” The idea is that terminally ill patients should be allowed to try experimental treatments that might succeed where conventional medicine has failed.

It is time that the concept is recognized across the pond and Charlie be given a chance of life, no matter how small.

If the baby is allowed to go to America, tries the treatment, and he still dies, he will have suffered no greater harm than if his doctors in Great Britain were allowed to kill him. The difference is that his parents will at least be secure in the knowledge that they did all they could to save their baby’s life. Some medical science will be advanced by the attempt, even if it fails. And, who knows? Charlie may live.