Baby Charlie Gard's Parents Storm out of High Court Hearing
Baby Charlie Gard's parents stormed out of a hearing before Britain's high court after the judge apparently lied about what they said in a previous hearing.
The judge, Justice Nicholas Francis, said he was keeping an open mind over his previous ruling that further treatment would be futile. "If there is important new evidence that suggests my decision should be changed then I will change it," he said.
But he insisted the new evidence must be significant for him to reopen the case.
About two hours into the hearing, Charlie's parents abruptly left the court after disagreeing with a comment by the judge.
Yates interrupted Francis as he said that the parents had said they would not want to prolong Charlie's life in its present state, only if there was hope of improvement. "I never said that!" she exclaimed from her seat behind her barrister.
The judge attempted to clarify that one or other of the parents had said it, but both rose and left the court. They returned to the courtroom after the lunch break.
Under examination by the barrister for Charlie's parents, a doctor testifying by video-link from the United States -- who cannot be identified by court order -- supported some key points of the parents' case, saying that the baby's MRI scan did not necessarily indicate structural damage to the brain.
The expert estimated there was an "11 to 56% chance of clinically meaningful improvement" in muscular function with the proposed treatment. The doctor also asserted that keeping Charlie on ventilator would not cause him harm because he did not seem to be in any significant pain.
Charlie's mother responded to the testimony with a thumbs up.
This case is so frightening on so many levels. It is beyond belief that it is happening in a Western democracy. Maybe China or Cuba would have courts that would side with the hospital that wanted to kill off a baby boy against the wishes of the parents. But sedate, civilized Great Britain?
The mind recoils in disgust. It would be one thing if the parents could be shown to be so distraught that it affected their judgment. But the parents have been nothing but realistic about the prospects of this new therapy — a therapy developed since the court hearing allowing the hospital to carry through with euthanizing young Charlie Gard. They have the money to take him to America and doctors willing to try the experimental procedure.
It is the bureaucrats who run the NHS in Great Britain who are so intent on "winning" that they have lost all semblance of humanity. Young Charlie Gard may die. But not indulging the hope of the parents that some improvement in his condition can be possible is almost without precedent and a product of a society that has created throwaway people, whether they are aborted, euthanized, or simply allowed to die.