Human life is the most precious asset, not just the one of the whole humanity but also each one’s, not only for oneself but also for those that we have around and for society as a whole. By recognizing this, the States protect it recognizing even suicide as an evil. It remains however a wide personal freedom in searching wellbeing for oneself and for one’s children.
However, the institutions put in place additional safeguards that in extreme cases can arrive to remove parental responsibility, for those who are not able to decide for themselves, in the first place for minors. The legalization of abortion represents already a dramatic exception where the State not only closes its eyes and becomes an accomplice but also organize the suppression of the child when he is still alive in the womb as a medical performance and a right.
When a child is ill, parents resort to doctors, they take their assessments and the therapeutic proposals in big consideration. If they do not find hope they easily resort to other doctors and they have no peace hoping to find the right one, the one that can put in place some therapy, even experimentally, in order to do something. So did the parents of Charlie, arriving with their appeal to the United States where they found hope.
The problem is that this has not been considered by the London Doctors who are treating their son. They do not consider the therapy suitable, they think that it is harmful and it could prolong a painful existence. The sources are disputing. According to some of them the American drug would have been tested only on mice and for a pathology that is different from the one affecting Charlie. Others would be available to cure him with better chances of success.
The new event that is considered of an unheard seriousness, lies in having prevented the parents to emigrate. Not for economic reasons, they have in fact collected the amount needed, but because the doctors do not deem it good for Charlie. They state that the baby is suffering and that the choice of the parents would only prolong and increase his sufferings. The problem lies in the fact that the parents do not agree with this. So the doctors have considered the matter so important to convince the judges that have put the child under guardianship seizing the father and the mother of their faculties.
Since, according to the doctors, Charlie would have no hope of healing, his wellbeing would be to put an end to his life as soon as possible. Not only by not allowing other therapeutic treatments, but by removing the one that today allows him to live: the artificial ventilation. It is evident that such vital support, before, was considered suitable otherwise it would not have been put in place. Now they decided to remove it. Why? The reason is that they consider that Charlie is suffering too much, of a suffering unworthy of living, so it’s better for him to die.
There are end of life situations in which it may be considered acceptable not to put in place all the possible solutions. When these weigh on the person more than the benefits, prolonging life only for a short time with considerable suffering added by the path undertaken. It may be considered ethically acceptable also to remove the therapeutic agents that are more burdensome than expected up to become unbearable, even if the cost is life. In these cases, the person would die because of the pathology in act recognizing that nothing can be done.
Now, they are about to unplug the artificial ventilation to Charlie not because it causes annoyance, but because this allows him to live longer, then, according to doctors and judges, to suffer more.
We are clearly dealing with a case of euthanasia with the aggravating circumstance of the contrariety of the people involved, with the obligation to perform it ordered by the institutions. In this way for a single case, we are proposing what Hitler imposed for thousands of people with disabilities. With the good will of wanting to put an end to the suffering we use an evil means: we suppress a life. This would not have been acceptable even if it was requested by the parents, but in this case, it causes an irreconcilable fracture.
The institutions are accepting the position of the doctors according to who Charlie is apparently suffering too much. They ignore instead the position of the parents to the extent to seize their role. They do not take into consideration the fact that with the palliative care today is possible to soothe every pain up to the deep sedation, a sort of anaesthesia. Nobody seems to worry about the suffering of the parents and of all those who are taking care about the situation.
In fact, the choice of the parents to make public their family affair triggered a display of solidarity collecting the money needed to cure him in the US, along with desperate appeals and insistent prayers.
We did not obtain a change of direction but only an extension of the sentence with the possibility given to the parents to bring baby Charlie home rather than let him die alone in the in hospital.
During these weeks in Italy, the Senate is discussing a bill for the total freedom to refuse or suspend any medical treatment, on oneself and on the people under one’s own legal protection. One state that sentence to death and another that washes its hands.