NEW YORK -- Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today regarding baby Charlie Gard:
“The clock was ticking as the world awaited the fate of Charlie Gard at the hands of European courts. The courts were set to decide whether they, in their self-appointed almighty role, would grant autonomy to the baby’s parents to make the potentially life-saving medical decision to try an experimental treatment for him. Time was not on Charlie’s side and I believe the courts knew this. Instead, days turned into weeks which turned into months as time was cruelly wasted by the despots in the hospitals and European court systems. The window of opportunity for an experimental treatment closed on Charlie Gard. His devastated but resigned parents have come out with statements that they will let their son go. They no longer have a choice.
“Priests for Life want to express solidarity with the grieving parents of Charlie Gard and all who helped them. They are an example for parents everywhere. We know God makes beauty out of ashes and we can find hope even in the most somber situations. We pray that one of the good things that will come about from this story will be encouragement for parents to speak up for their children, for parents to fight and do what is right, even against pressure from the medical community and government authorities. We pray that inspiration will grow.
We pray this story will also be an inspiration for researchers, doctors, and all medical professionals to continue to explore medical treatments. It is the pioneers in (ethical) experimental treatments who find new cures and offer hope in otherwise hopeless situations. We commend doctors, researchers, and all those willing to work with families. We commend the families for the risks they take in life saving efforts.
“We pray this story will be an inspiration to governments. May Charlie’s life be an encouragement to protect people who are entrusted to their care. It is the legitimate goal of government to protect the rights of people. When bureaucrats take over parents’ roles, they trample on the rights of families and patients. They have no business having total authority to their healthcare decisions. As we saw in baby Charlie’s case, it was fatal and it set dangerous precedent utilitarianism under the phony guise of compassion. As we discuss the healthcare in this country, may this serve to warn government officials to never go in that direction.
“Let it be a warning to all of us to never arrogantly presume somebody’s worth, value, or happiness. We must never ever look at somebody else’s circumstances or lives and arrogantly appoint ourselves as judge and jury on how valuable that life is or how happy they will be. It is not our part. For Matthew tells us, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.” There is no life too small or too weak over which God is not sovereign. May we have a good dose of humility.”
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.