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Trump Praised for Compassionate Response to Charlie Gard's Family

Chris Gard and Connie Yates, who are battling to take their baby, Charlie, to the U.S. for treatment against advice from doctors that he should be taken off life support, arrive at The High Court in London, Britain.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, who are battling to take their baby, Charlie, to the U.S. for treatment against advice from doctors that he should be taken off life support, arrive at The High Court in London, Britain. (REUTERS/Eddie Keogh)

President Trump is showing us the leadership of a president and the kindness and strength of a loving father in the case of baby Charlie Gard. He has offered to help Charlie and communicated in a tweet, "If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so."

Despite the European Court of Human Rights' rejection of Charlie's parents' appeal to overturn the decision of British courts, hospitals in the U.S. and a Vatican hospital are offering to join their fight for his life. We insist that the British government intervene, respect the love and authority of his parents and force the hospital to discharge little Charlie Gard.

Whose ethics will prevail in the case of Charlie Gard? His parents fighting for his life or a hospital fighting against so-called "futile care"? Medical authoritarian rule or parental rights and responsibility? 

Quoting Wesley J. Smith at First Things, "Whose baby is Charlie Gard, anyway?"

That is the crucial question. And what follows is who has the right to determine his "care"? We put "care" in quotes here because what the British government insists it must do cannot be called care.

Charlie's parents want to rescue him. They understand that the odds are against him, but like all great parents, they are not only willing but are anxious to take those odds and fight for the life of their child. They want to truly care for their child in the way only parents can.

They love him in a way an institution—a hospital and government—cannot. The hospital will not even allow Charlie's parents to transfer him to others who do not see this parental love in action as an act of futility. This authoritarian ruling backed up by judges is a groundbreaking act.

It cannot be called care. It can be called dangerous utilitarianism.

They believe that they, not Charlie's parents, are better qualified to assess the value of his and any life. "Quality and relative futility" of life are the ethics surrounding Charlie's care. The hospital and judges say Charlie must die, and that they will not discharge him. They insist he must die there, not at home.

But whose baby is Charlie? It does not take a law degree, a degree in ethics or even being a parent to see the obvious. Children are not the property of the state or any institution. They are not even owned by parents because they are not commodities. Charlie is not owned by anyone but is loved into life by Chris and Connie Gard.

England, let your better angels fly; let these parents love their child.

Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List.

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