1. Farewell, Charlie Gard: State to his parents: How dare you look for a second opinion.

By The Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2017, Pg. A16, Review & Outlook

Charlie Gard has come to the end of the line. On Monday his parents announced they are giving up their appeal to have him undergo experimental treatment in the U.S. for his genetic disorder. Their decision came after the doctor who’d offered it said too much time had elapsed and too much damage had been done.

People can disagree with the best treatment for Charlie: The British doctors certainly disagreed with the American specialist the family invited.

In her own statement Monday, Connie Yates, Charlie’s mother, noted that all she and her husband wanted was to “take Charlie from one world renowned hospital to another world renowned hospital in the attempt to save his life and to be treated by the world leader in mitochondrial disease.”

This they could not do, because of a system that elevated a judge’s opinion about what was best for Charlie over loving parents. Few should be surprised, because the brutal reality is that when the state is responsible for nearly all health spending it inevitably takes responsibility for life and death decisions too.


2. Charlie Gard’s Case Highlights Balancing Act Facing U.K. Courts: U.K. judges regularly have to decide whether doctors should end lifesaving care for grievously ill children, involving complex ethical, medical and legal questions.

By Joanna Sugden, The Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2017, 5:30 AM

The high-profile battle in the British courts over the fate of Charlie Gard, a brain-damaged baby with an incurable genetic disorder, put a spotlight on the difficult role the U.K. judicial system often has to play when children’s lives hang in the balance.

Judges in the U.K. are regularly asked to decide whether doctors should end lifesaving care for grievously ill children. Given the secrecy of the family-court system, these cases traditionally get little attention.

Over the past two years, Britain’s High Court has weighed in on roughly 30 disputes over a child’s medical care, according to a government agency that provides legal guardians for children in such cases. There have been 10 so far this year. In the majority of them, doctors have sought to remove life-sustaining treatment against parents’ wishes.

Dominic Wilkinson, a professor of medical ethics at the University of Oxford, said that the approach to conflict between doctors and parents differs from country to country. “The U.K., though, is relatively unusual in the number of cases that it has dealt with in this way and in the preparedness of the courts to make decisions that are contrary to the wishes of the parents,” he said.

U.K. judges often use balance sheets—though they didn’t in Charlie’s case—to weigh the benefits and burdens of continuing life support when calculating what is in a child’s best interests. In the U.K., where the National Health Service is straining for resources, the use of funds, space and staff is also often an issue in deliberations.

In 2014, parents of Ashya King, a 5-year-old boy with brain cancer, took him from a British hospital without informing clinicians and traveled to Spain, where they were arrested. A U.K. Court ordered their release and let the parents take the boy to Prague for proton therapy not offered by the National Health Service for his illness at the time. Ashya returned to school after treatment in Prague, according to U.K. media reports. The therapy he received is now becoming available in British hospitals.

In the U.S., clinicians also regularly evaluate the burdens and benefits of keeping patients on life-support. But doctors, often fearing litigation, tend to continue treatment if a patient’s family wish them to do so, according to U.S. medical ethicists.


3. The war against the Christians: Persecution of the human heart grows, particularly in the Middle East.

By The Washington Times, July 25, 2017, Pg. B2, Editorial

Persecution of Christians continues in certain parts of the world, mostly in the Middle East and throughout South and Southeast Asia, but it rarely gets much attention even in the Western media

Pope Francis, who like many Protestant clerics in the West is more concerned about the social issues of the left, has spoken out only occasionally against discrimination, which sometimes includes imprisonment and worse. In April the pope visited as a token of solidarity the leader of Egypt’s indigenous Christian Coptic Church, whose parish includes 20 million Egyptian Christians. But Protestant churchmen in the West, preoccupied with social issues to the neglect of articles of the faith they espouse, have largely left opposition to oppression to the Western democratic governments, led by the United States.

The persecution statistics are horrific: More than 300 people are murdered monthly throughout the world because of their Christian faith. Two hundred houses of worship are destroyed monthly. Almost 800 incidents of violence are committed monthly. These are truly hate crimes, though rarely prosecuted as that.

This conflict besets most majority-Muslim societies, even though they have borrowed lightly from European legal codes from their colonial past. This conflict will likely intensify if present trends continue.

Indeed, in much of the Islamic world the concept of faith as understood in the West is not something voluntarily held in the human heart, not to be imposed by the state by birth or by law, but a political ideology. Therein lies the fundamental conflict between Judaism and Christianity in the West, and Islam elsewhere. Short of an Islamic reformation, like the reformation that transformed both the Jewish and the Christian faiths, there is probably scant hope for authentic reconciliation.


4. Lawyers in Charlie Gard case to be back in UK court.

By Associated Press, July 25, 2017, 8:10 AM

Lawyers for the family of critically ill infant Charlie Gard and the hospital treating him were returning to court for a hearing Tuesday, a day after the baby’s parents said they were dropping their long legal battle to get him experimental treatment.

The subject of Tuesday’s hearing at the High Court in London was not immediately clear.


5. Pope Prays for Ill Baby Charlie Gard and Parents.

By Associated Press, July 24, 2017, 1:37 PM

Hours after his parents dropped legal efforts over the treatment of a critically-ill baby, Pope Francis has called Monday for prayers for Charlie Gard and his parents.

The Vatican said in statement Monday evening that Francis “feels especially close” to the Gard family “at this time of immense suffering.” Francis requested prayers from the faithful.