The Charlie Gard Legacy: Forced Euthanasia

By Chris Michalski Published on August 28, 2017

Compare these historic quotes:

“Reich Leader Bouhler and Dr. Brandt are entrusted with the responsibility of extending the authority of physicians, to be designated by name, so that patients who, after a most critical diagnosis, on the basis of human judgment, are considered incurable, can be granted mercy death.” — Adolf Hitler, 1939

“I find it is in Charlie’s best interests that I accede to these applications and rule that Great Ormond Street may lawfully withdraw all treatment save for palliative care to permit Charlie to die with dignity. I want to thank the team of experts and carers at Great Ormond Street and others who cannot be named, for the extraordinary care that they have provided to this family. … [This decision is reached]  “with the heaviest of hearts, but with complete conviction for Charlie’s best interests.”  — Justice Nicholas Francis, 2017

Pardon me for making such a sharp and pointed parallel. But the Charlie Gard case was very personal to me.

In an interview I did with The Stream, I recounted the close parallels between Charlie Gard’s story and my son Peter’s. Peter was just as sick as Charlie at the same age. Doctors were equally ready to write him off. People pressured and mocked my wife and me, when we used our prerogatives as parents to find another hospital. There Peter got a  “long shot experimental treatment.” Without it Peter would have died painfully well before his first birthday. He’s eleven now.Peter4-min

A chance such as we got is all that the Gards were asking for. They were not delusional about the odds. They didn’t ask for heroic or extraordinary measures. Only that they be allowed to pursue experimental treatment that might help their son.

Did the state’s utilitarian gods require a human sacrifice?

So why did the U.K. courts say no? I think it was not an accident or an error. They were looking at the bottom line and trying to set a precedent.

Here’s another one: Iceland is boasting that it has “cured” Downs Syndrome. How? In the only way possible. By aborting every single child who seemed likely to have that condition. For now, parents had the legal right to opt out of that “treatment.” How long will they have the choice? The Charlie Gard case suggests: Not long. Five years. Maybe ten.

The Roe v. Wade for Forced Euthanasia

Roe v. Wade was a moment that activists seized upon and manipulated to create the momentum that would change abortion laws internationally. The Gard case may prove the Roe v. Wade for state-imposed euthanasia.

Think I’m being paranoid? A British paper revealed that the pro-euthanasia lobby appointed one of its own to represent Charlie’s parents, who wanted to save him.

A source close to the parents told The Daily Telegraph: “The family find it astonishing that the quango that appointed the barrister to act in the interests of Charlie Gard is the chairman of Compassion in Dying, the sister body of Dignity in Dying, formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. The implication is obvious. It looks like a profound conflict of interest.”

Consider the government’s motive: The crushing costs posed by caring for the infirm, the old, or anyone deemed unproductive, have been a real concern for welfare and socialized states for a long time. It is only recently that the conversation about health care rationing has been forced into the open. The ruling on the Charlie Gard case frames the language and arguments that will accelerate the incremental creation of new laws. Soon euthanasia could be a fact of life across once-Christian countries.

The Walls Are Closing in for the Sick, the Weak, the Old

The conditions are falling into place, one by one:

These factors could soon combine to hand over to those who ration health care the power of life and death. People will see it as the only alternative to their governments going bankrupt.

The Reich’s medical program from 1939 to 1941 “mercifully killed” over 70,000 in Germany and Austria, and Poland before expanding and accelerating. Similar programs were in place in Bolshevik Russia. It is important to appreciate the economic considerations that drove these governments to kill the sick. See how similar their reasoning is to current health care rationing debates.

Western welfare states keep expanding. Western populations keep aging. Soon the pressure will be almost irresistable: to implement euthanasia not just on the handicapped but also on the old.

Western welfare states keep expanding. Western populations keep aging. Soon the pressure will be almost irresistable: to implement euthanasia not just on the handicapped but also on the old. When it is our turn, we will be told that these tough decisions are being driven by compassion and mercy. Never mind that those with the right affiliations or pedigree will be exempt from the state’s mercy.

The British press has for the most part shown genuine concern that the Gard case is indeed setting the obvious precedent. That it will smooth the transition from passive euthanasia and the withdrawal of medical treatment, to active euthanasia and the legalization of assisted dying … and perhaps beyond.

Our New Gods Demand Blood

Like an episode out of Black Mirror, is it really that far-fetched to look down the road and see where this could lead? A not so distant future where a tribunal dispenses lethal mercy instead of medicine on behalf of a loved one, or even for yourself? A welfare state drawn out to its logical end: The authorities transfer you from your home to a comfortable transition center for a final meal.

Why? Because there were just a few too many checked boxes against your profile: economic drain, genetic error, crimethink, political opposition. Maybe because you belong to a church that’s considered “extremist.”

Was Charlie Gard an unfortunate victim of outrageous overreach? Did the state’s utilitarian gods require a human sacrifice?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
Inspiration
For Thine is the Kingdom … But Mine is the Driver’s Seat
Clarke Dixon
More from The Stream
Connect with Us