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Old Jul 17th 2017, 03:01 PM
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Default Charlie Gard

Anyone keeping up with this story in the UK? I haven't delved into the details or watched for updates since it seems kind of like grotesque tabloid journalism, but the larger issues it raises are interesting and challenging. Should the hospital/government be able to demand that someone be cut off from medical aid and left to die?

Naturally one can't demand that the state indefinitely commit public resources to medical case which will never improve, and there must, one assumes, be a point where the state (informed by expert opinion) can determine that a given treatment desired by the parents amounts to child-abuse and thus refuse to let the parents pursue it. But neither of these seem particularly relevant here. Other sources of funding and treatment are ready and waiting; I've not seen any real indication that Gard is in pain or suffering. It seems more as if the determination has been made by the hospital/state that the [probable] life he potentially has left is not worth living and the hospital/state will therefore not only refuse to prolong his life but actively prevent others from doing so.

I'm particularly curious how, if at all, the situation would be different in the event that Charlie Gard were a comatose or severely disabled adult [who presumably would not recover] instead of minor. Assuming that the adult could not communicate his/her own wishes, I don't see how the state's position would be any different.

The difference between this case and the similarly sensational Terri Schavio case from back in the day is striking. Schavio's was a "right to die" case where the issue was whether or not a guardian could demand the removal of life support; Gard's is a "right to live" case where the issue is whether the state can demand a patients death.
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Old Jul 17th 2017, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Charlie Gard

Quote:
Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Anyone keeping up with this story in the UK? I haven't delved into the details or watched for updates since it seems kind of like grotesque tabloid journalism, but the larger issues it raises are interesting and challenging. Should the hospital/government be able to demand that someone be cut off from medical aid and left to die?

Naturally one can't demand that the state indefinitely commit public resources to medical case which will never improve, and there must, one assumes, be a point where the state (informed by expert opinion) can determine that a given treatment desired by the parents amounts to child-abuse and thus refuse to let the parents pursue it. But neither of these seem particularly relevant here. Other sources of funding and treatment are ready and waiting; I've not seen any real indication that Gard is in pain or suffering. It seems more as if the determination has been made by the hospital/state that the [probable] life he potentially has left is not worth living and the hospital/state will therefore not only refuse to prolong his life but actively prevent others from doing so.

I'm particularly curious how, if at all, the situation would be different in the event that Charlie Gard were a comatose or severely disabled adult [who presumably would not recover] instead of minor. Assuming that the adult could not communicate his/her own wishes, I don't see how the state's position would be any different.

The difference between this case and the similarly sensational Terri Schavio case from back in the day is striking. Schavio's was a "right to die" case where the issue was whether or not a guardian could demand the removal of life support; Gard's is a "right to live" case where the issue is whether the state can demand a patients death.
Without looking into the details, either, it seems that withholding help is a whole lot different than "actively preventing" others from offering help.
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Old Jul 17th 2017, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Charlie Gard

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Without looking into the details, either, it seems that withholding help is a whole lot different than "actively preventing" others from offering help.
As I understand it, the hospital is not only planning to withhold life support but also refuses to release Gard to other facilities that have volunteered to do so. IE Hospital security (and presumably the police) will actively prevent the Gards or anyone else from taking Charlie Gard to a facility that will continue to provide life support.
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Old Jul 18th 2017, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Charlie Gard

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Anyone keeping up with this story in the UK? I haven't delved into the details or watched for updates since it seems kind of like grotesque tabloid journalism, but the larger issues it raises are interesting and challenging. Should the hospital/government be able to demand that someone be cut off from medical aid and left to die?
All I know about this case comes from your post and the Wiki entry on the topic I just read.

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Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
Naturally one can't demand that the state indefinitely commit public resources to medical case which will never improve, and there must, one assumes, be a point where the state (informed by expert opinion) can determine that a given treatment desired by the parents amounts to child-abuse and thus refuse to let the parents pursue it.
Indeed. This seems to be the case as I see it. The doctors appear to believe that the proposed treatment would harm the patient and therefore, as doctors, they cannot approve or support such treatment.

And the state has no choice but to support the considered opinions of the doctors. State bureaucrats cannot decide on treatments. They can only assert the law based upon the opinions of the doctors as given, and the standardized treatments recognized by the medical profession.

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But neither of these seem particularly relevant here. Other sources of funding and treatment are ready and waiting; I've not seen any real indication that Gard is in pain or suffering. It seems more as if the determination has been made by the hospital/state that the [probable] life he potentially has left is not worth living and the hospital/state will therefore not only refuse to prolong his life but actively prevent others from doing so.
The so-called "other treatment" that is ready and waiting has apparently never been done on anyone with the particular medical condition in question. There is apparently zero support or evidence for this treatment in this type of case in medical literature.

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I'm particularly curious how, if at all, the situation would be different in the event that Charlie Gard were a comatose or severely disabled adult [who presumably would not recover] instead of minor. Assuming that the adult could not communicate his/her own wishes, I don't see how the state's position would be any different.
I agree. I don't see how the state's position would be any different if this were some severely disabled or comatose old person. Why is that significant? If anything, it buttresses the state's position to be consistent.

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The difference between this case and the similarly sensational Terri Schavio case from back in the day is striking. Schavio's was a "right to die" case where the issue was whether or not a guardian could demand the removal of life support; Gard's is a "right to live" case where the issue is whether the state can demand a patients death.
I think you are using hyperbole here to create an issue. In both the Gard and Schavio cases, the state did not DEMAND a patient's death. It may be true that the state's position might lead to the patient's death, but in both cases the patient's death is/was highly likely regardless of any state action.
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Old Jul 19th 2017, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Charlie Gard

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All I know about this case comes from your post and the Wiki entry on the topic I just read.

Indeed. This seems to be the case as I see it. The doctors appear to believe that the proposed treatment would harm the patient and therefore, as doctors, they cannot approve or support such treatment.

And the state has no choice but to support the considered opinions of the doctors. State bureaucrats cannot decide on treatments. They can only assert the law based upon the opinions of the doctors as given, and the standardized treatments recognized by the medical profession.

The so-called "other treatment" that is ready and waiting has apparently never been done on anyone with the particular medical condition in question. There is apparently zero support or evidence for this treatment in this type of case in medical literature.

I agree. I don't see how the state's position would be any different if this were some severely disabled or comatose old person. Why is that significant? If anything, it buttresses the state's position to be consistent.

I think you are using hyperbole here to create an issue. In both the Gard and Schavio cases, the state did not DEMAND a patient's death. It may be true that the state's position might lead to the patient's death, but in both cases the patient's death is/was highly likely regardless of any state action.
"Demand" may be a poorly chosen word (though I still think it accurately describes the situation), but I don't think any hyperbole is needed to make this a noteworthy issue.

A hospital is literally holding a patient prisoner, not for the purpose of guaranteeing they receive medical care, but in order to guarantee that medical treatment (including life sustaining treatment) will be denied to the patient. That seems remarkable. I can't immediately think of a similar case.

As to the opinions of the doctors, I would agree if it were just a matter of the state/hospital refusing to pay for an experimental treatment (or life support), or if it were just a matter of the doctors refusing to provide that treatment/support, regardless of who pays. The state and the doctors should generally follow expert advice on the best use of their resources.

But in this case, the hospital/state forbidding ANYONE (even other hospitals) from using ANY resources to provide treatment ANYWHERE. Other hospitals, staffed and operated by fully credentialed doctors, have offered to provide treatment and transportation at their own expense, but they have been forbidden to do so. That seems remarkable.

If nothing else, it seems like the basic principle of liberty would against the hospital/state's position.
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Old Jul 21st 2017, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Charlie Gard

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"Demand" may be a poorly chosen word (though I still think it accurately describes the situation), but I don't think any hyperbole is needed to make this a noteworthy issue.
I strongly disagree. The state's actions both in Schavio and this Gard case do not constitute murder or incitement to murder.

And while it is a noteworthy issue in itself (considering human life), I don't consider it a huge issue because these are unique cases. State's actions may appear callous, but I don't see much to get worked up about since these are unique cases and unique cases by definition are going to cause problems for any kind of established system of rules.

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A hospital is literally holding a patient prisoner, not for the purpose of guaranteeing they receive medical care, but in order to guarantee that medical treatment (including life sustaining treatment) will be denied to the patient. That seems remarkable. I can't immediately think of a similar case.
So the case is so unique that you can't think of a similar case? Doesn't that indicate that this issue isn't a huge threat to society? If this was one of dozens or hundreds or thousands of cases, then it would be a very serious issue indeed. As it stands, this is a unique case - one in hundreds of millions (just considering USA/UK alone).

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As to the opinions of the doctors, I would agree if it were just a matter of the state/hospital refusing to pay for an experimental treatment (or life support), or if it were just a matter of the doctors refusing to provide that treatment/support, regardless of who pays. The state and the doctors should generally follow expert advice on the best use of their resources.

But in this case, the hospital/state forbidding ANYONE (even other hospitals) from using ANY resources to provide treatment ANYWHERE. Other hospitals, staffed and operated by fully credentialed doctors, have offered to provide treatment and transportation at their own expense, but they have been forbidden to do so. That seems remarkable.
And questionable.

Seems like there is a whole lot of media spin on this issue. Several articles I've read don't even mention what you are asserting. Everything I read about the case shows a lot of facts being thrown around that are contradicted by the next article one reads if it is from a different publication. I consider it to be very difficult to meaningfully assert that one knows what is actually happening with this issue without actually being there.

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If nothing else, it seems like the basic principle of liberty would against the hospital/state's position.
Whose liberty are you referring to?
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Old Jul 23rd 2017, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Charlie Gard

All that being said, I do agree that something seems weird/odd/strange about this case.

I'm not sure if it is due to the state acting in a reprehensible way or if the case is just being spun hard by the 'right-to-life' crowd to stir things up.
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Old Jul 31st 2017, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Charlie Gard

The child Charlie Gard has died.

It appears that his parents ordered the end of life support. I'm still not sure what the real legal battle was all about.
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Old Aug 9th 2017, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Charlie Gard

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The child Charlie Gard has died.

It appears that his parents ordered the end of life support. I'm still not sure what the real legal battle was all about.
well as the bbc tells it


Quote:
Chris Gard and Connie Yates lost their final legal bid to take their son to the US for treatment.
Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital believe Charlie has no chance of survival.
The court agreed, concluding that further treatment would "continue to cause Charlie significant harm"...

...In April a High Court judge ruled against the trip to America and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.
Three Court of Appeal judges upheld the ruling in May and three Supreme Court justices dismissed a further challenge by the parents.
I must admit, I find it hard to see this case as anything other than troubling.
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Old Aug 9th 2017, 06:38 PM
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I must admit, I find it hard to see this case as anything other than troubling.
Without knowing the precise terms of the legal case, I think it is very difficult to have a substantive opinion about it.

I do find it interesting that it appears that it was the state arguing for 'dying with dignity'. That's a bit of a switch given past history of the issue. Normally it is the state that seeks to force endless medical treatment upon those for whom death would be a release from torture.
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