By now, everyone around the world has probably heard of the tragic story of Charlie Gard. It’s a case where a family in the U.K. was told their son was terminally ill and there was nothing that could be done to save his life; that was, until doctors in the U.S. thought they could save him with experimental treatment. Charlie’s parents wanted to do everything to save their baby so they raised the money to be able to bring him to the U.S. for that treatment.
And that’s when things got ugly. The government told Charlie’s parents that they couldn’t take their own child from the U.K. to seek experimental treatment elsewhere.
The case was brought to court and the courts refused to order the child be released into his parents’ custody, thus preventing him from receiving any of the care which was offered.
Just this week, Charlie Gard’s parents removed their petition to take Charlie abroad when they realized the “window of opportunity” to treat him had already closed.
What’s most disturbing about this case is that the State believes they know better than parents on what’s best for their own child. What’s even more disturbing is those on the left believe the same thing. As discussed at NewsBusters:
In a piece for The Guardian entitled “Despite Charlie Gard’s Tragic Story, We Must Respect The Process Of Our Courts,” UCL health professor, Ian Kennedy, expressed sympathy for the plight of Charlie, but ultimately justified it on the basis that “children do not belong to their parents.”
…As a society, we must choose how to decide such heartbreaking cases. Of course each child is different, but do we accept that there should be principles and rules, whatever the circumstances, that guide us as we try to work out what’s best?
These are the steps. The first is to recognize that children do not belong to their parents. Second, when a claim is made that parents have rights over their children, it is important to step back and examine the language used. We need to remind ourselves that parents do not have rights regarding their children, they only have duties, the principal duty being to act in their children’s best interests. This has been part of the fabric of our law and our society for a long time. Third, if we are concerned with the language of rights, it is, of course, children who have rights; any rights that parents have exist only to protect their children’s rights.
In other words, parents have no actual rights to make decisions for their children if the State doesn’t agree with those decisions.
Parents are simply guardians of their own children and the State knows better.
This is the society we live in today. The left believes parents aren’t the best “deciders” for their children; rather, the “experts” and the all-knowing bureaucrats know exactly what children really need. And this line of thinking isn’t just in Europe.