Baby Charlie

Posted on 2017 July 16

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Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. — Woodrow Wilson

As of this writing, Baby Charlie Gard struggles for life. Not yet a year old, Charlie suffers from a rare genetic disorder that disrupts the energy centers in his body’s cells. He stopped growing; his eyes and ears ceased to work, and then his heart and kidneys began to fail. 

Britain’s National Health Service officials decided Charlie was terminal and should be allowed to die, but his parents protested, claiming there might be a cure overseas. The NHS balked; they also ruled the parents couldn’t take Charlie home or to a hospice. So they all went to court. The Gards then discovered that their child’s court-appointed attorney is chairperson of a right-do-die organization — hardly the advocate they might wish for. Currently, both the child and the case linger.

Penney Lewis, co-director of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics at Kings College London, declared, “This isn’t about the parent’s right to control what happens to their child. Parents don’t have that right, [but] they do have a responsibility to take care of their child as best they can.”

Let me get this straight: “Parents don’t have that right” to protect their child as they see fit? In Britain, apparently you’re not allowed to make major decisions about your own kids. However, “They do have a responsibility to take care of their child as best they can.” It sounds as if the Gards’ only parental right is to do what they’re told.

This is why America rebelled.

Europeans, God love ’em, enjoy political systems that evolved from absolute monarchies to liberal social democracies. Sounds like they were copying the American Experiment, eh? Not exactly. In fact, there’s a huge difference. In America, the government belongs to the people; in Europe, the people essentially belong to the government. Of course, they can vote on who will boss them, and they’re granted certain privileges like speech and worship, but ultimately “parents don’t have that right” and “they do have a responsibility…”

America became a great success, and the rest of the world thought it was because the citizens got to vote. That’s not it. It’s deeper than that. In America, the citizens grant powers to the government, whereas in Europe the governments grant powers to the citizens. In the U.S., the government is at least supposed to be severely limited in its powers, with Checks and Balances and the Bill of Rights holding it back. Voting is just one part of that process, a process designed to keep the citizens free from tyranny. And that is why America succeeded.

Now, I don’t know about you, but where I come from, if you have to ask permission to make your own decisions, you are not free … and neither do you have any rights worth spit.

If Charlie Gard’s parents must beg to receive exemptions from the State’s rules on how they are to care for their children, especially in a life-and-death situation, then the children really aren’t theirs at all — they are the State’s. If the parents’ job is to obey governmental edicts in these matters, what’s the difference between that and Fascism, where a citizen’s purpose is to serve the State? 

Meanwhile, for those in the U.S. eager for the government to manage their health care system … Baby Charlie awaits.

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UPDATE: Time runs out for Baby Charlie in court

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Posted in: Politics