Baby Charlie Gard died on Friday, July 28, after his parents fought a heart-wrenching battle with the European court system over getting life-saving treatment for their son.
This 11-month-old child’s short life has offered a poignant — and lasting — defense of the value of human life.
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“Our beautiful little boy has gone. We are so proud of you, Charlie,” said his mother, Connie Yates.
Doctors diagnosed baby Gard with a rare mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. His parents had been forced into making decisions no parent should ever have to make.
His parents announced this week, on July 24, after their excruciating battle that they felt they had no choice but to end life support care for Charlie.
“Connie [Yates] and Chris [Gard] were forced to make the agonizing decision to end the legal battle for Charlie’s life, after this court-instigated eight-month process prevented him from receiving the life-affirming treatment he rightly deserved,” Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, said in a statement this week. “It is our hope that Charlie’s family know that the global outpouring of love and support exhibited during his fight remains as steadfast as ever as they say goodbye to their son.”
“Charlie’s spirit will continue to inspire an international fight to ensure that the sanctity of every human life is respected,” Mancini also said.
Others commented as well on the defense of life in this case.
“This outcome of socialized medicine should give all national health care advocates pause,” said Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a national patient-centered health freedom organization in St. Paul, Minnesota. “Charlie’s parents had the money to try to save him, but the British National Health Service and the courts of England wouldn’t let them try. As an editorial in The Wall Street Journal recently asked, ‘Whose baby is Charlie, anyway — his parents’ or the state’s?'”
Yates and Gard raised over $1.8 million to cover the expenses for their child to get treatment in the United States.
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Catherine Glenn Foster, CEO and president of Americans United for Life, provided legal counsel and support in the U.K. for Charlie’s parents.
“It became clear after new tests performed last week that over the last months without this treatment, Charlie’s muscles had atrophied too far for it to have a chance to be effective,” Foster stated. “As I sat behind Connie and Chris in the courtroom, I could see the shock and tears in everyone’s eyes, from reporters to the High Court judge presiding over the case. Connie and Chris, along with their family, were openly crying.” (go to page 2 for the rest of the story) [lz_pagination]