Charlie Gard. Should the parents just let him go?

  • The parents of a terminally-ill baby have been given more time to put forward a legal case that he should be allowed to go to the US for treatment.


    Life-support for Charlie Gard must continue until midnight on Monday, the European Court of Human Rights ruled.


    European Court on Charlie Gard


    My heart goes out to the parents, what a terrible situation, but there is no magic cure here for their son. The American treatment cannot reverse his brain damage, so even if the baby survived the trauma of a transatlantic flight, the treatment would not change the outcome for the poor little fellow.


    Isn't it time that the parents just let him go, as hard as that may be?

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  • Yes. He will die anyway at some stage and his parents are keeping him going because they cannot accept the situation. Perhaps they have little experience of tragedy and death and don't understand that some things are doomed and we have to accept this. It's the way of the world. It happens to every living creature and it happens to plants and trees. When there is no hope, the entity dies. That is reality and reality is governed by circumstances.


    It would be compassionate to let Charlie go.

  • Obviously I have recent experience of this, not with a baby or child, but at the other "end."


    I can understand their desire to keep him going and not give up on him, I really do understand that. Life is important. But, the fact he is in pain, cannot see, cannot hear, cannot move, cannot cry, cannot swallow (very important), cannot cry and has brain damage, it's too much wrong with him. Even if some treatment were able to give him some sight, he would be severely disabled his entire life.

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  • I have every sympathy with the parents. Losing a child must be the hardest death of all to cope with but I do think that in this case they are being selfish. It's not a matter of saving the child's life, it's a matter of preserving his life for as long as possible whatever the circumstances of the child's present suffering and any future suffering he may endure in the future.


    I think they should let the poor child go.

  • Yep.


    It all goes to the question of "what is life?"


    Clearly, their baby is alive, he is breathing, but is it really being alive? As you say, he is existing.


    I don't think the parents are being selfish, but they've not had a moment to step back from it, to judge this properly. It's very hard to coolly decide on matters of life and death when the one you're "passing judgement" on, is right there in front of you.

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  • People in that situation need help in making that decision because they don't want to think they "killed" him. They won't be killing him because without all the medical paraphernalia he is attached to, he would already be dead. They are actually keeping him alive artificially and he has no hope of ever knowing what it is to be human.


    If they could be brought through that decision making phase, they would be able to find the capability to set him free. It's a pity the father can't summon the sort of guts fathers used to have and make the decision to let Charlie go. It's hard for the mother as she carried the child and gave birth to him. She needs a strong companion to allow her to relinquish her hold on a life that is barely there. She needs to set Charlie free, let his soul fly out of his prison of a body like a bird out of a cage. This is no time for religion or atheism, with its impossibly harsh nihilism.


    It's time for Nature to take Charlie's body back.

  • Terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard must continue to receive life support until judges make a ruling on whether he should undergo a trial treatment


    Interim Judgement

    =====

    Looks like this is going to go on and on. Poor kid.

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  • Even treatment won't make him able to live like normal children. Perhaps Nature will do her compassionate thing and take him before they can stick any more needles into him.

  • I wish someone would take the parents aside and say that the brain damage cannot be reversed. Perhaps they're thinking if he can see a bit, or swallow, or something else, then that would be ok. For whom, would be my response to that.


    He is in constant pain, something, as far as I know and believe, my dad never was. The fact he was smiling three weeks before he died is proof to me of that.


    Sometimes life comes to an end and we all have to accept that, I just wish these parents would.

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  • Great to hear your dad was smiling 3 weeks before he died. Maybe he knew he was getting ready for a journey where he could get off the train on the other side with all his faculties back. You never know. I don't discount anything in this world, it's far too deep and unexplored for us to make adamant claims about it. :)

  • The parents have lost their appeal. The European Court has ruled that life support can be withdrawn.


    My heart goes out to the parents, but this is the right decision, in my opinion.


    Correction: The European Court has ruled that they will not intervene in this case and as Charlie's parents already lost their appeal in the British system, that still stands.

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  • Heart breaking case. As a parent I can't imagine not fighting to my dying breath to keep my child alive but in this case I think the law has been wielded wisely. The parents have fought so hard and I feel so sorry for them, they have exhausted every avenue and must, now witness the death of their much loved child.

  • I feel for the parents but there must come a time when people have to accept that the child is basically dead and there is no chance of any significant recovery. I think this is the kindest thing. We faced a similar decision when my mother suffered a massive stroke and even if the hospital had kept her body alive, with increasing intervention, there was no mind left. No person.:(

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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  • Well, as I've alluded to in the staff area and via PM, these kind of issues are one of the major reasons for this site existing. Don't be fooled when our eventual host arrives , which will be a cartoon looking type character, but this site is very much intended to discuss issues such as this, although for me they are still very raw, but it's why I set this site up.


    But unlike Charlie, my dad in his last months was breathing, could speak a bit, although very rare in the end, could see, could smile sometimes, had terrible trouble with swallowing (a major part of end stage dementia) but as far as I was concerned, very much a real person and my dad to the end.


    It wasn't a case of withdrawing a breathing tube from him as he breathed fine, but he had to be spoon fed, toileted and washed. I did that every day for four years. Prior to that I had to wash and toilet him and further back, just had to assist with washing. I did that for twelve years and now I must now do it all over again.... I last had a proper holiday in 2000 and the last holiday with my dad was in the Olympics year, 2012, although for me, it was really work and not a holiday at all.


    These kind of issues I will get into with my blog when/if I get round to continuing with it, but I do sympathise with Charlie's parents about fighting. Life should be fought for, so I can understand that, but unlike my dad, their son is in constant pain, cannot see, cannot swallow etc. He is alive, but only just and now they must release him. Poor little sod and poor them.


    Sometimes the right fight is to stop fighting.

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  • I think the parents haven't come to terms with the fact that Charlie isn't really there, as Heero mentioned. He is suspended between existence and death. He would die of natural causes very quickly if they unplugged all the artificial things keeping him alive. There is no hope for him. He is a tragedy. Sometimes modern medicine doesn't help so much as it prolongs the leaving. If one can possibly release an individual from a hopeless situation, then this is best.


    If Charlie could communicate, he'd ask them to let him go. Everyone should have the right to this and this should be enshrined in a legal document. Many are afraid they will end up on life support, trapped in bodies that no longer work. Or imprisoned by minds that are trapped into fog by damaged brains.

  • The parents of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard have said his life support machine will be turned off later.


    Chris Gard and Connie Yates have criticised doctors after their request to bring their son home to die was denied.

    Life support to be turned off

    =====

    It's almost over for the little chap.

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  • Looks like we were premature in thinking this was coming to a end soon, as this was the story yesterday:


    Pope Francis has called for the parents of terminally-ill Charlie Gard to be allowed to "accompany and treat their child until the end".

    Chris Gard and Connie Yates had been expecting their 10-month-old's life support to be turned off on Friday.


    Trump and Pope offer support to Charlie Gard

    ====


    I notice in that article, the American doctors have backed off, stating that their treatment has only been used in those with a less severe form of the disease than the one that Charlie Gard has. Clearly, they are nervous are promising something they can not deliver in light of all the media attention on them.


    I'll choose my words carefully here, but in several months time, the parents may look back on this time and regret the decisions they made. Although their intentions are to do what is best, they might ask themselves for whom were they trying to do the best for?


    Another point here, what the hell does any of this have to do with the pope and Trump?

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  • I'm not sure. The alternative is to always wonder whether they did all they could. Tough choice.

    If it weren't for the fact that the baby has irreversible brain damage, then there might be hope for him. But the day our medical science can reverse brain damage is the day when disease and illness is a thing of the past.


    His parents are just too much in the thick of it to see clearly. Would I have done differently to them? Probably not.

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  • We've had to put a lot of animal companions down over the years and you learn to know when you are prolonging death not saving life, to quote Professor Chris Barnard the heart transplant pioneer.


    Charlie seems to have deteriorated fast because I've seen earlier pics of him without the life support machines. If he can't see, speak or swallow, will never run around or be able to achieve anything and is brain damaged and will without doubt deteriorate further, they should try to come to terms with the fact that Charlie would be better off out of all that.


    I'm sorry that Trump has put his foot in it. He should have stayed out of it.

  • I suppose it's like any other "fad" on Twitter, Trump can't stay away from it. You'd think he might have other things to contend with, aka North Korea, China, Russia, Middle East etc etc. But no, he has time for his twittering.

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  • Latest on this story is that the Vatican's own hospital has said Charlie can go there.

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  • Ahh, that's what you think, it is LW? I didn't see it that way. I stupidly assumed it was a kind gesture by the pope with no ulterior motive as the Church is whiter-than-white and never has any ulterior motives.:saint:X/

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  • I wonder if the Pope will be willing to accommodate all of the world's terminally ill children in the Vatican hospital. The media are now calling this and Trump's throwaway offer a gesture of "hope". How cruel and stupid of these dumb hacks. There is no hope for Charlie. He has become a sort of human Grenfell Tower and is being utilized as a chance to attack certain things whilst supporting others, none of which have anything to do with the very real tragedy of a child who is alive only because he is on a machine and has a disease that is progressive and incurable.


    Squeezing every drop of juice from the orange on this tragic story. Getting the world into a lynch mob mood through social networking. They now refer to Charlie's death as "killing". "Don't kill him!" they screech. It should not be allowed. It's reprehensible and one of the reasons why I hate social media with a passion. Playground for intellectually challenged.

  • I couldn't have put that better myself.


    Perhaps when some of these twitter idiots have "experiences" of their own, they may change their minds.

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  • I think the Pope is offering that Charlie should have Vatican citizenship which according to some commentaters means the EU court ruling is not applicable and then the partents can take him to the USA for treatment.


    Perhaps a prayer to St Jude?

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

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