Tuesday, July 04, 2017

More on Baby Charlie? Yes. Much more. And you need to know it.

I think Charlie Martin's linked report here is the best of many I've seen on this terrible situation - because Martin provides specific facts and steers away from emotionalism found in previous reports.
I've also been thinking about similarities between baby Charlie and the Nataline Sarkisyan case of a few years ago.

The unfortunate Nataline was on life support; heroic medical treatment had already been tried; and independent doctors who reviewed her situation unanimously recommended against an organ transplant as too risky. In short, there was no assurance that further treatment would make any difference. Martin’s article provides details that show baby Charlie's condition is somewhat similar to Nataline's: on life support; physicians advise that further treatment is futile; following further appeals, the NHS hospital denies further treatment and recommends baby Charlie be allowed to die with dignity.

So . . . is that the end of the story for, and about, baby Charlie Gard? No.  I don't think so.
Apart from the human tragedy here I think the central outrage in baby Charlie's short life remains that NHS and the power of the bureaucratic state brushed the family aside and is making all the decisions - in the process, keeping the child and his parents virtual prisoners of NHS.  Martin's linked article reports that
"His parents then asked to be able to take Charlie home, so he can at least die at home. That was refused too. I haven't seen any reasoning for that; it's hard not to think they're suspicious his parents wouldn't let Charlie just die as directed, but would, immediately upon regaining control of their son, flee the country."
Probably true. They have the money. And as for Great Ormond Hospital's suggestion to let the baby die with dignity - if keeping an infant prisoner in a hospital is the Hospital’s idea of dignity, it can bite my shiny metal #ss.
Note: nearly the same thing happened in my own town, to neighbors of our in-laws whose daughter was also diagnosed with mitochondrial disease. And then the hospital and bureaucrats in the State of Massachusetts took over and tortured the whole family for years.  

Do not overlook that in these cases, private insurance and government insurance behaved in the same ways. People who say nothing like this can happen here are seriously misinformed. It has already happened here. People who say nothing like this can happen with a nationalized insurance scheme are living in a dream world. These situations will surely arise again in the U.S. even if we end up with some kind of government single-payer medical welfare scheme.
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