Political commentator Charles Krauthammer weighed in on infant Charlie Gard’s case on Monday, saying he would let Charlie die if he was the judge.
Krauthammer is a well-respected journalist and commentator who tends to be politically moderate. He is not pro-life.
On Monday, he told Tucker Carlson on Fox News that he thinks it is a “cruel hoax” that some doctors are saying Charlie could benefit from an experimental treatment.
Charlie Gard suffers from a rare mitochondrial disease, and his parents want to take him to the United States for an experimental treatment. They raised more than $1 million for his care. Two weeks ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a hospital can remove Charlie’s life support and allow him to die. However, last week, the hospital agreed to consider new evidence involving Charlie’s condition before taking him off the ventilator.
Krauthammer said Charlie’s condition is so poor that it would be more merciful to allow him to die.
Western Journalism reports more from the interview:
“The merciful thing to do … would be to remove the tubes and allow the child to die, and to end the suffering,” Krauthammer said.
Krauthammer suggested doctors were insulating a “cruel hoax” on Gard’s family given that the child’s illness is “utterly incurable.”
“I think this is a cruel hoax, this holding out of hope for a disease that is utterly incurable,” Krauthammer said.
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“There are people, this happens every time you have a terrible case like this, some hospital or doctor will claim he’s got some kind of new treatment. I don’t believe a word of it,” Krauthammer said.
“If I were the judge, come in, has to make a ruling, I would allow the child to die,” Krauthammer said. “He can’t see, he can’t hear, he can’t speak, he can’t swallow, and he has no control, he can’t move, and he has terrible epilepsy.”
In October, Charlie entered Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and was diagnosed with a form of mitochondrial disease that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. His parents discovered that 18 people in the United States have been treated with an experimental medication to remedy the rare condition. Reports have not identified the doctor who agreed to treat Charlie, but it was noted that his parents were aware that no cure was promised.
Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, said they understand that there is only a small chance that the experimental treatment will work; but they want their son to have a chance.
“There is potential for him to be a completely normal boy but we don’t know because we just don’t know until we try,” Yates told told Good Morning Britain last week. “I’ve heard from doctors that there’s around a 10% chance of this working for Charlie so I think that’s a good enough chance to take.”
Yates said she does not want her son to suffer. She said it has been “absolute living hell” to wait and wonder when the hospital might end his life support.
“He’s our own flesh and blood and we don’t even have a say in his life whatsoever,” Yates said. “We are not bad parents, we are there for him all the time, we are completely devoted to him and he’s not in pain and suffering, and I promise everyone I would not sit there and watch my son in pain and suffering, I couldn’t do it.”
Yates said she has done extensive research about her son’s condition. She said there is an experimental drug in the United States that is being used to treat children with his condition, and they hope Charlie could benefit from it.
She said a U.S. hospital agreed to treat Charlie if they could get him there. However, the courts have denied them their right to take Charlie to a new hospital. They are waiting to hear whether the hospital will reverse its decision and allow Charlie to be transferred.