A health care worker who helped to treat Charlie Gard defended the hospital’s decisions about his life and death in a column for the Guardian this weekend. The medical worker, whose name remains anonymous, claimed the British infant suffered by being kept alive during a political soap opera about his treatment. The staffer slammed supporters of Charlie and his parents.
The British infant died on July 28 after his life support was removed, following a lengthy court battle between his parents and hospital. He would have turned 1 year old on Aug. 4.
Charlie suffered from a rare mitochondrial disease and brain damage. He was at the center of a massive international debate after Great Ormond Street Hospital refused to allow an experimental treatment to help him and also refused to transfer him to another hospital that would allow the treatment.
His parents fought persistently to take Charlie to the United States for an experimental treatment. Yates and Gard said they knew the chance of the experimental treatment working was slim – about 10 percent, but they wanted to try anyway for Charlie’s sake.
However, the courts and hospital refused to allow them to transfer their son to another hospital. About a month ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the hospital could remove Charlie’s life support and allow him to die.
This week, the hospital staffer said the hospital team provided the best care for Charlie and “loved this child to bits,” but nothing more could be done to help him.
“We didn’t want to lose him, and we didn’t want his mum and dad to be without him, but it’s our job, our legal and moral obligation, to stand up for Charlie and say when we think: that enough is enough,” the health worker said in the Guardian.
The staffer blamed international leaders, including United States President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, for advocating on behalf of the infant’s life and his parents’ wishes.
“We didn’t do this for Charlie. We didn’t even do it for his mum and dad. Recently, we did this for Donald Trump, the pope and Boris Johnson, who suddenly knew more about mitochondrial diseases than our expert consultants,” the staff member wrote. “And we did it for the keyboard warriors who thought it was OK to write about the ‘evil’ medical staff at Great Ormond Street, even though we were still there next to Charlie, caring for him as best we could, as we always had.”
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The medical worker also wrote about the toll Charlie’s case took on the entire staff of the hospital. Even friends asked, “Why are you trying to kill this child?” Parents of other young patients at the hospital were nervous about whether the right thing was being done for their children.
The worker concluded by imploring everyone on social media to think twice before commenting on “how awful we are.”
“The parents’ pain will be unimaginable, their loss immeasurable and incomparable,” the clinician wrote. “But we will live with this forever, too.”
Questions remain about whether Charlie could have benefited from the experimental treatment, had it not been delayed for months during the legal battle. The court battle began in March.
U.S. neurologist Dr. Michio Hirano, an expert in the field, previously said Charlie had an 11 percent to 56 percent chance of benefiting from the experimental treatment. However, when Hirano and a group of doctors examined Charlie in late July, they said he no longer had a chance of benefiting from the treatment.
After Hirano gave his final opinion, Charlie’s parents decided to end the legal battle to get their son experimental treatment. Based on the new evidence, the couple said Charlie’s condition had deteriorated too much and there no longer was any hope of the experimental treatment working.
Last weekend, the news broke that Charlie had died after his life support was removed. Leading pro-life advocates mourned Charlie’s death — saying it is a very concerning harbinger of things to come.
After Charlie’s death, his parents spent the weekend mourning with their family planning their son’s funeral, according to The Sun.
“We should be planning Charlie’s first birthday but instead we’re planning his funeral,” his mother said.
Despite all of his problems, Charlie’s parents – and millions like them – believe that Charlie is a valuable, living human being who should be given a chance to live.
Leading pro-life advocates helped Charlie’s parents fight for his life. Pope Francis and President Donald Trump also expressed support for the sick infant.
Charlie’s parents brought Terri Schiavo’s brother Bobby Schindler to London to help them fight for care for their son. Schindler spoke with LifeNews exclusively about their invitation.
Schindler told LifeNews: “The critical issue here is not a political one, but the simple notion that families know what is best for their loved ones.”