Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Court-Ordered Death of a Child

UPDATE (7/7/17)- A new hearing has been scheduled. See a quick alert here.

Original Article:

As a parent, can you imagine being in a situation where you trust a doctor to save your child's life but he betrays that trust and seeks legal permission to kill your child instead? That is the stuff of any parent's worst nightmare, yet it is the reality of Chris Gard' and Connie Yates' recent experience. 

Eleven months ago Charlie Gard was born to the couple in London. Doctors quickly discovered that the newborn's brain was malformed, and he could not breathe on his own. These issues were caused by a rare genetic condition that the hospital has been treating Charlie for since his birth. The doctors recently concluded that no further treatment could be given to the Charlie without causing "significant harm," and their solution was to seek a court order granting them permission to end Charlie's life by denying all life support. The court did the unthinkable by granting the request. The devastated parents requested that instead of killing their baby boy, that they be permitted to have their son transported to the United States to undergo an experimental treatment that offered some hope. To make the situation worse, the court denied their request, so life support will be removed and Charlie's life will be taken by the very people trusted to save it. The full story may be found here.

As a parent, I cannot imagine the agony this couple is being forced to endure. Even merely thinking of such a nightmare coming true causes emotions to run wild: sorrow, anguish, anger, confusion. But these emotions are not merely feelings with no grounding in reality; these emotions are triggered by an innate understanding that violations of reality are taking place. What are those violations that spur such emotions?

Intrinsic human value is violated- Humans have intrinsic value, regardless of the level of development. Intrinsically valuable lives must be protected, also, regardless of the level of development. 

Logic is violated- Just because the single medical facility does not have the resources to continue treatment does not mean that all other medical facilities lack the resources to continue treatment. The parents know of a facility in the US that could continue treatment, and they informed the court and explicitly requested they be allowed to transport their son. That is a most reasonable and logical request. The denial of the parent's request was based on the logical fallacy of hasty generalization. The court's ruling on the parents' request was unreasonable and illogical. 

Ethics (Hypocratic oath) are violated- "I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery...I will prevent disease whenever I can but I will always look for a path to a cure for all diseases." I do not know if the doctors involved took the Hypocratic oath (or any modern version), but if they did, they are in clear violation of, at least, these two lines.

Trust is violated- If we trust doctors to do everything they can then refer to someone else once their resources are exhausted (based upon the three previous points), yet they violate that trust by instead seeking a court order to end the life of their patients, on what logical basis should we trust these doctors? Even if the doctors treating Charlie did not know of the experimental treatment at the time the order was requested, the moment they discovered it, they should have dropped their court request and sought resources to get Charlie to the new facility as soon as possible. 

In order to not seek a different solution for Charlie (namely a different treatment), a denial of these violations is necessary. And there is only one way to deny that all these have been violated: to deny that they are features of reality, and to accomplish that one must deny the existence of God. 

The United States of America was founded to escape this over-reaching of the government into our lives. In America we have enjoyed the benefits of a government that recognizes that people are created in the Image of their Creator, with certain unalienable rights. If we do not stand up and defend the truth of Christianity in the marketing place of ideas, this is what we can expect to come to become our reality, our kids' reality, our grandkids' reality; we and they can expect to lose the right to live at all. We will live in a world without reason, without trust, without life, and without God.

If you would like to go deeper into this and prepare yourself to defend our God-given rights, check out these more in depth posts and books:

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