The reason we can’t and shouldn’t put aside the Charlie Gard case is that it isn’t an isolated event. If we put it aside and ‘go on with our lives’, it will only empower the hospitals and courts to make more and more decisions for our lives and not usually for the betterment of our lives.
The doctor came in looking tired and somber. “I’m afraid I’m the bearer of bad news,” he said as he surveyed the worried faces: “The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It’s an experimental procedure, very risky, but it is the only hope. Insurance will cover the procedure, but you will have to pay for the actual brain.”
The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a time, someone asked, “How much will it cost?” The doctor quickly responded, “$5,000 for a liberal’s brain; $200 for a conservative’s brain.”
The moment turned awkward. Several leftist family members tried to suppress a smile, avoiding eye contact with their conservative cousins. A smug liberal uncle, unable to control his curiosity, finally asked the question on everyone’s mind: “Why do liberal brains cost so much more than a conservative’s?”
The doctor smiled at his childish innocence. “It’s just standard pricing procedure. Unlike a liberal’s brain, we price conservative brains much lower because they’re used.”
A baby died in England this week. This baby’s death shouldn’t go unsung because a tiny infant showed the world what becomes of the humans of the world when the ways of the world have come to a pass that full-term, living babies can be deprived of necessary treatment and not allowed a chance at life.
Although little Charlie Gard seemed in perfect health his first couple of months of life, he suddenly started failing and ended up in a hospital with a diagnosis that could be considered a definite death sentence if left untreated. Although it was a chance, at best, Charlie’s parents researched options, begged for financial help, and got in touch with an American doctor who said he would examine the baby. Seems like a ray of home in what was being touted as a no-win situation.
Even with money in hand and a place to take their baby, the United Kingdom’s courts and doctors refused to allow the parents this option. There would have not been a single charge to the hospital for taking the baby to that one chance of help but the doctors said an adamant, unexplained ‘NO!’ and the courts backed them up on their say so. The time line for saving Charlie began in January when first diagnosed. At that point in time, the treatment just might have been beneficial giving the parents a feeling of hope in doing all they could for their first child. The doctors dragged on the process and the court trials didn’t get the immediate hearings you would think the situation merited so we end up seven months later with a baby slowly deteriorating in health.
Even in the condition he was in this month, the American doctor made the trip over to examine the baby and met with the UK doctors. A doctor in Rome offered his help on this as the Pope was also anxiously watching this turn of events. Everything was rejected and the courts sided with the doctors.
It got worse even after the parents realized that time had run out on treating their baby due to the doctors’ lack of action. They allowed that their son’s little life was fast running it’s course and only asked that they could take him home to die. This was refused. From what I read, they took the baby to an undisclosed place where the doctors removed him from his life support and Charlie died.
I only wonder how much celebration was enjoyed by those grown men who fought so hard for the death of this baby. I wonder if the judges breathed a sign of relief to have this pesky situation finally put to rest being glad little Charlie was finally being put to rest.
To basically recap: The parents of a sick baby had the wherewithal to transport him to the United States for experimental treatment. There would be no further cost to the UK hospital. The doctors refused to give the baby this once chance and regulated the time the parents could spend with the baby. When the parents persisted, the courts stepped in and took away their parental rights to do the best they could for their son.
You have to ponder what was going through these people’s minds to constantly refuse to move an inch on possibly saving this innocent child. Do these doctors have children? Would they appreciate a stranger telling them they couldn’t decide what was good for their own children? Yet, the doctors involved and the courts thought nothing of depriving this little family of their God-given free will and rather than have their word contradicted and take an ego bruising, felt it was better to get rid of the evidence . . . little Charlie Gard.
I’m thinking there are a great many people in the world today shedding tears for this family and not thinking well of how the helpless are treated under the medical guidelines of the medical health care system of the United Kingdom. A doctor vows to do no harm. I didn’t see any evidence of compassion in the events of the last few months.
Over the years, so many atrocities have been committed under the guise of medical treatment, especially in what unborn get to live and who are thrown away. It seems to follow, in a way, that if you get used to dumping aborted babies into the trash that helping a live baby to their demise would just be another day’s work. AND, if you have the backing of the court, it looks like one takes a huge chance in trusting their health and eventual outcome to the powers that be who want to run our lives.
Unfortunately, this is not isolated to the UK. People might remember Terri Schiavo who was deliberately starved to death because that was her husband’s wish with the backing of doctors in spite of her having a family who wanted to save her. Another case was the teenager, Justina Pelletier, who held by the Boston Children’s Hospital based on a doctor’s view that she wasn’t being properly treated medically. She went in a healthy young lady and finally left in need of much health care and rehabilitation from her time in that hospital.
Many prayers needed, today, for Charlie Gard’s family as well as other people/children who might be in similar situations and not allowed their freedom of choice.
Seems that in the middle of a World War, there was more going on that would eventually shape our today. Most of us probably never found this aspect in our school history books.
I recently had my DNA analyzed by Ancestry.com and didn’t figure I would find too many surprises. I always grew up saying I was half German and half American since my mother had come from Germany and my Dad from America. Makes sense, right? I didn’t figure I would find a lot of surprises in my DNA. Wrong!
Great Britain 27%
Western Europe 22%
Eastern Europe 9%
Italy Greece 2%
Iberian Peninsula 2%
West Asia 1%
Middle East 1%
The last two percentages were possible but the rest is the ‘real me’ for sure. I was surprised to not have much German showing up but I do look like my Dad’s side of the family. The Irish was a surprise but a suspicion as the gene for red hair usually indicates Scotland or Ireland. I don’t have the red hair in the family but showed Scotland and Ireland in the analysis. Seemingly, my antecedents really got around.
So far, I’ve only traced my Father’s side of the family and have gotten back to the 1300’s where we have a couple of Knights and Ladies. My husband said to follow exactly from which son of a son of a son I could trace back to but it turns out that until the 1800’s, they each had one son! My great grandfather broke the tradition and had ten children and my grandfather had four children.
Seeing the names of the Aunts and Uncles (my Father’s sibling) brought back a few memories. I don’t remember my Uncle Emerson but met my Aunt Helen one time. The one, however, I remember the most without having seen her was my Aunt Viola who was married to my Uncle Emerson. It seems she was almost my second mother!
When my mother was pregnant with me, she was horribly sick the entire time. She became pregnant being underweight and weighed even less at nine months pregnant. Things, however, went well and she went home with her baby girl. Much to her surprise, Uncle Emerson and Aunt Viola showed up to visit a couple of weeks after my birth. You have to remember that back in those days, telephones were for local calls and letters took a week or more to arrive. My aunt and uncle lived in Missouri and we were in Colorado at the time. Seems that my Father panicked at my mother’s ill health and told his brother, Emerson, that if something happened to his wife, he couldn’t copy with a baby and he would like them to adopt me! My mother and Aunt Viola were friends and this was never mentioned but I can imagine she shed a few tears at not returning home with a baby. She couldn’t have children.
Well, I had a difficult time finding information about Aunt Viola for the family tree this week. When Uncle Emerson died, she kind of faded out of the family picture. My grandmother wasn’t a gem to any degree so I think Aunt Viola struck out on her own and cut her connections with the family. After a lot of digging (I’m getting good at researching family roots!), I found her and was saddened to discover she passed away in 2011! I would have like to have seen her and talked to her. So even not knowing/remembering what she looked like, it was a little sad to have missed a tiny reunion with someone that had been nice to my German mother fresh from the war and thank her for having cared about my welfare.
When a government is in charge of healthcare, they can also be in charge of whether you live or die. Case in the point, the medical conflict over the 11-month old, Charlie Gard in Britain. Initially, the powers that be felt that keeping him on life support was futile and the baby should be allowed to die with dignity. His parents feel he should have more of a chance and garnered every cent they could to pay for travel and treatment to America. The British medical services ‘would not allow’ that and put a date of death tag on the little boy. Thankfully, this has been extended and some good has come about on behalf of the little child.
A doctor going for cutting-edge medical treatment on the ailment of the boy and an expert in that particular field came to the UK on his own dime and spent five hours evaluating the little boy. He determined that with the help he could provide in the States, Charlie Gard could have an 11% to 56% chance of improvement. He didn’t feel he was mentally impaired. To sweeten the deal, the US Congress voted to give the parents and Charlie immediate citizenship and residence in the United States. The parents had the financial means to bring the baby over without a single penny required of the British health system. They were refused this by the British doctors and the courts. They are adamant that Charlie stays in Britain and that Charlie should die.
Recently, the doctors showed up at a hearing with brain scans purported to be from Charlie and showing low brain function. Before even talking to the parents about this, they sprung it on everyone to validate their vote for allowing Charlie to die.
You have to wonder about the mind set and callousness of a system that basically kidnaps someone’s child and takes away the parents’ right to make decisions for the child. What is wrong with doctors who refuse to consider an alternative that won’t cost them any money. Why is it so important for them to watch a baby boy die? It does make one think that pride is playing a major part in this because these British doctors have failed to help the baby and are afraid that he just might have more of a life with medical treatment in the United States. Don’t doctors take a pledge about ‘do no harm’? It is tragic, sickening, and evil to follow the news on this where doctors fight for the right to end this little boy’s life.
Although many of us have had an inkling, mildly speaking, that there is trouble brewing in the Catholic Church, the statistics we heard at Mass put it into a shocking perspective. For every new Catholic welcomed into the Church, six Catholics leave.
For anyone who is shocked and appalled at this statement . . . tell me, where have you been over the last several decades?
How did you miss the change wrought by the onset of feminism and it’s effect on the women, men, and children? Supposedly, women felt a need to climb down from the proverbial pedestal of respect and be treated like a man. Well, that isn’t working out too well as so many women turn their back on the real power of being a women, wife, and mother to spend their life trying to find themselves while demeaning men and just about anyone else that doesn’t agree with them. When would they have time for God. Besides, God is too Patriarchal for them.
Abortion isn’t a quiet issue as it is almost praised and revered for ‘freeing’ women from the unwonted burden of giving a child life. Lack of chastity and women’s newfound freedom isn’t working out all that well. Repentance and confession doesn’t fit into the mind set of their perceived freedom so they don’t need or want the disapproval of the Church or reminders about saints who gave up everything to respect God.
As has often been said in such times, it seems that good is now bad and bad is now the new good. Fake news, warped news, and liberal news confuse the masses to the point they can’t see going to Mass.
Modesty is ridiculed, fashions bare all, there are protests and parades in public you wouldn’t want your child to see. Freedom of speech is waning quickly. There is a lot more that could be said for the slippery slope on which we’ve set civilization. So, if you are shocked at the dwindling numbers of vocations and the people leaving the Church, again, where have you been?
If nothing else, the elections of President Trump’s predecessor should have been a major clue when over 50% of the Catholic vote in both of those elections went to elect a very staunch supporter of abortion and Planned Parenthood. When you knowingly vote to help kill the unborn, it kind of makes honoring God a contradiction in terms.
In the town of Siroki-Brijeg in Bosnia and Herzagovina, not one single divorce or broken family has been recorded in living memory among its more than 26.000* inhabitants! So what is the secret of their success?
The answer is the beautiful tradition the Croatian people of Siroki-Brijeg have for marriage. In fact the Croatian marriage tradition is beginning to take hold in the rest of Europe and America among devout Catholics who have seen the blessings it bestows!
For centuries the people in Siroki-Brijeg have suffered cruelly as their Christian Faith was always threatened by first the Moslem Turks and then the Communists. They knew through experience, that the source of salvation comes through the Cross of Christ! It does not come from humanitarian aid, peace treaties or disarmament plans, even if these things may bring limited benefits.
These people possess a wisdom that does not allow them to be duped over questions of life and death. That is why they have indissolubly linked marriage with the Cross of Christ. They have founded marriage, which brings forth human life, on the Cross, which brings forth divine life.
When the bride and bridegroom go to the church to be married they carry a Crucifix with them. The priest blesses the Crucifix and instead of saying that they have found the ideal partner with whom to share their lives, he exclaims, “You have found your Cross! It is a Cross to love, to carry with you, a Cross that is not to be thrown off, but rather cherished.”
When they interchange the marital vows, the bride puts her right hand on this Crucifix and the groom puts his right hand over hers. Both are bound together and united to the Cross. The priest covers their hands with his stole while they pronounce their promises to love one other in good times and in bad, proclaiming their vows to be faithful according to the rites of the Church.
Then they both first kiss the Cross, not each other. If one abandons the other, they abandon Christ on the Cross. They lose Jesus! After the wedding, the newly-weds cross the threshold of their home to enthrone that same Crucifix in a place of honor. It becomes the reference point of their lives and the place of family prayer, for the young couple believes deeply that the family is born of the Cross.
In times of difficulty and misunderstandings, as all human relationships experience at some time, they do not turn immediately to an astrologer, or a lawyer or psychologist, they turn to the Cross. They kneel, weep tears of repentance and open up their hearts, begging for the strength to forgive each other, and imploring the Lord’s help. These pious practices have been learnt from the time of their childhood.
Here the children are taught to reverently kiss the Crucifix daily and to thank the Lord for the day before going to bed. These children go to sleep knowing that Jesus is holding them in His arms and there is nothing to be afraid of. Their fears and their differences, so normal sometimes between siblings, melt away in their kiss of Jesus on the Cross. They dream of enthroning a Crucifix in a home of their own one day.
The family is indissolubly united to the Cross of Christ. Is this simply a morbid outlook on marital and family life? Or is it a piece of wisdom that few in our modern world can understand?
The Catechism teaches that “love should be permanent or it is not true love. It is not a feeling which comes and goes, but a power to give which should be there even when feeling dies out”.
In marriage we cannot rely on our own human strength, and if we think we can, we shall fail. Temptation enters into every marriage in one way or another. On one’s wedding day it is hard to imagine a day when it all won’t be perfect. Little do the young hearts know that they are embarking on a road which will travel to the highest peaks and the lowest valleys. It is during those times spent deep in the valley that it takes heroic efforts by both to stay the course. At times it is even necessary for one spouse to have the mental discipline to pull the other spouse back into the marriage. Those who are experiencing this or have in the past can fully appreciate the grace that is necessary to hold on through the storm or the silence. There might be days when it all seems hopeless. Then a moment of true grace can bring a flood of renewed love and vitality back to the relationship to renew the sacramental bond. It is during these times of intense difficulty that spouses can experience what is truly meant by those seemingly prophetic words now being added during some marriage ceremonies: “You may kiss the Cross.”