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New York Times Op-Ed on Charlie Gard Backs Infanticide

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The case of dying English baby Charlie Gard shows how much public opinion about life and death issues is swayed by emotion rather than thoughtful deliberation. Charlie was born with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome. This condition is so rare that there are probably only a dozen children in the world who are affected. The child […]



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This article is missing a few details that have been in the press here. There's no mention that he was meant to have the nucleoside treatment at GOSH (BBC "GOSH did apply for ethical permission to attempt nucleoside therapy on Charlie") until he developed a seizure disorder, or the fact that he is still having multiple seizures a day, which appear to have left permanent brain damage. The first US doctor to offer to treat him then saw the brainscans in court and withdrew the offer. The 10% chance of improvement that the current doctor offers is that he may open his eyes and smile. That's it. It won't cure him. It won't save him. It will not prevent the organ shutdown which will kill the child even if he remains on total life-support. There's a reason why every court including the EU courts have selected against the treatment at this point: because it is using a deathly-ill baby for medical experiments that cannot cure him.


They are also missing the fact that the child's 'supporters', the group set up by the parents, have been threatening and abusing other parents of children at the hospital, which is swinging public opinion firmly against them over here. When they started threatening cancer nurses and sick and dying children and their families, it became hard to have any sympathy for them.


Not experimenting on Charlie Gard is no more infanticide than a parent of a child with cancer opting against attempting untested chemotherapy is murder, or an adult cancer patient opting to stop their treatment suicide. It is exceptionally sad, but it is nature.


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