Charlie Gard, Prisoner of the State

Jul 17, 2017

The Charlie Gard case raises significant issues about parental rights in Britain and Europe. The National Health Service (NHS) assert that Charlie Gard’s parents have no rights. Against the parent’s wishes, the courts have appointed a social worker to act as Charlie’s legal guardian in legal matters. The parents argue that they are the legal guardians of their child. The NHS insists that it has the right to take Charlie Gard off of life support so he can “die with dignity.” And it argues that the parents may not have input into the decision making process. An American neurologist, Professor Michio Hirano, will come to Britain on Monday to give his assessment of Charlie Gard. Hospital officials don’t want the parents to be present during the assessment. Seton-Marsden, a spokesman for Charlie Gard’s parents said, “I would maintain [this case] raises very profound moral and political questions as to who a child belongs.” “Whose child is he? Is he the state’s child? Is he the NHS’s child? Or does this child belong to the parents?”