World Leaders Step in to Save Baby Charlie Gard

by Anita Carey  •  •  July 5, 2017   

Hospital still refusing to transfer child despite offers from Vatican and US

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LONDON ( - Despite worldwide support for continuing treatment for a gravely ill baby, the hospital where he is on life support is refusing to allow him to be transferred or even taken home by his parents, insisting he die at their hands.

Both Pope Francis and President Trump have spoken out in defense of the parents of gravely ill Charlie Gard to seek out new treatment. Just today, Theresa May has joined in the international conversation, saying she is "confident" that Great Ormond Street Hospital has and "always will consider any offers or new information" for Charlie.

Influenced by Pope Francis' message, Mariella Enoc, president of the Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital in Rome, requested a transfer of the boy from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. In the interview with the press, Enoc told reporters that the London hospital was prevented from requesting the transfer for "legal reasons."

Vatican Secretary of State Cdl. Pietro Parolin has also committed to helping transfer Charlie to the Vatican's pediatric hospital. On the legal hurdles, Cdl. Parolin says, "Overcome these problems? If we can do it, we will do it."

In a tweet on Monday, President Trump sent a message, offering to help the gravely ill 11-month-old child, who suffers from a rare genetic disease. Helen Ferre, director of White House media affairs, told reporters that members of the administration have spoken with the family but that the president has not. Ferre notes that Trump "does not want to pressure them in any way" and is "trying to be helpful."

President Trump's tweet followed Pope Francis' message on Sunday that the parents' wishes should be honored regarding the treatment of the baby. The pope's statement announced that he was "following with affection and sadness the case of little Charlie Gard and expresses his closeness to his parents. For this he prays that their wish to accompany and treat their child until the end is not neglected."

The Pope also published a tweet that proclaimed, "To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all."

This contradicts Abp. Paglia's statement admonishing the media for sensationalism and the need to avoid aggressive medical procedures, saying that we must "recognize the limitations of what can be done, while always acting humanely in the service of the sick person until the time of natural death occurs."

Paglia has recently come under fire for his appointment of a pro-abortion Anglican, Nigel Biggar, to the Pontifical Academy for Life. Biggar has stated that the unborn are not really the same kind of human as adults and do not deserve the same treatment as adults.

Shortly after the request was made by Bambino Gesu, the Associated Press (AP) shared an investigative report that the hospital was compromising health care for the sake of profits. Associated Press claimed there is overcrowding, poor hygiene and inferior medical devices that are putting children's lives at risk at the Vatican's hospital.

The hospital has dismissed the report as a "hoax" and claims the allegations are "false, dated and gravely defamatory." They are threatening to sue AP unless a retraction is made. Greg Burke, spokesman for the hospital, said, "No hospital is perfect, but it is false and unjust to suggest that there are serious threats to the health of children at Bambino Gesu."

Charlie Gard was born with a rare mitochondrial disease that affects every cell of his body. There is currently no known cure, but other children born with similar types of conditions are being successfully treated with the nucleoside therapy Charlie's parents want to try.


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