The civilized world has been captivated in recent days with the story of young child Charlie Gard, whose parents are trapped in a legal battle that no parent should ever face.
Gard, who is merely 11 months old, has been virtually sentenced to death by courts within the United Kingdom who are refusing to allow Charlie to be transferred to another nation for treatment of a rare disease. The court’s ruling allows only for young Charlie to be removed from life support in his current hospital stay, but would not allow for lifesaving measures to be performed on the child abroad.
U.S. President Donald Trump has offered to assist the family in relocating Gard to the United States in order to receive care, but the U.K. courts have continued to uphold their verdict. Now, two U.S. congressmen are working on a radical new solution to the heartbreaking drama, in which Charlie Gard could become a citizen of the United States ahead of a possible extradition to America for help.
“Baby Charlie is diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial disease for which there is no treatment in the U.K., where the family resides. The boy’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have raised over $1.6 million for experimental treatment offered in the United States, but the courts in the U.K. have denied Gard and Yates the right to remove Charlie from Great Ormond Street Hospital and have instead sentenced the boy to death via removal of his life support.
“By granting baby Charlie citizenship, the parents will now have the freedom to bring their child to the U.S. for potentially life-saving or life-prolonging treatment.
“’Our bill will support Charlie’s parents’ right to choose what is best for their son, by making Charlie a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. in order for him to receive treatments that could save his life,’ explain the congressmen.
“’Despite Charlie’s heartbreaking condition, his parents have refused to give up hope,’ they write. ‘They have advocated for him fiercely. They have raised over £1 million to pay for their son to receive experimental treatment in the United States. They have kept fighting for his life.’”
The story of Charlie has reached every corner of the globe in recent weeks, with even Pope Francis weighing in on the UK’s disparaging decision.
There is still plenty of bureaucratic finagling to do if Charlie is to be transferred to the United States, and it goes without saying that time is of the essence. If nothing else, Charlie’s situation could be the catalyst that causes UK lawmakers to reevaluate their healthcare system’s massive downfalls – something that will not only benefit the young and ill, but anyone in the United Kingdom who finds themselves in such a precious predicament.