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UK Prime Minister May

Charlie Gard’s desperate case for release from a London hospital before losing life-support was again made in the British parliament today, as seen in video provided by the Mirror. The response of the British Prime Minister was not encouraging.

MP Seema Malhotra addressed Prime Minister Theresa May on behalf of west London constituents Chris Gard and Connie Yates. The couple has sought since January to get their seriously declining  baby boy to the United States to try an experimental oral medication.

Eleven-month-old Charlie has a rare and debilitating chromosomal condition in which his cells cannot replenish essential energy. A natural compound, orally administered, has shown some success as a treatment in the United States.

Court action on behalf of the parents failed to uphold their objections to the Great Ormond Street Hospital’s determination that Charlie be removed from a respirator and medically assisted nutrition, effective immediately. However, last Tuesday, the hospital vaguely promised “not to rush” the process. As of the 4th of July, a Facebook-posted photo of the Gard family indicated Charlie was still alive.

MP Malhotra,
pleads for Charlie

MP Malhotra asked the prime minister for intervention on behalf of Charlie, who has been hospitalized since October. She said

“I understand the chances of improvement for Charlie are low but doctors would be able to say within three months whether Charlie is responding and whether that change is clinically beneficial. If there is any room for discretion within the court rulings for Great Ormond Street to allow Charlie to leave and to transfer his care to doctors at Columbia University, and he is sufficiently stable to receive treatment, would the Prime Minister do all she can to bring the appropriate people together to try and make this happen?”

Prime Minister Theresa May did not commit to intervening, citing the understandable “difficulty” of the situation for both parents and doctors. She then asserted she was

“confident that Great Ormond Street Hospital have and always will consider any offers or new information that has come forward with consideration of the well-being of a desperately-ill child.”

Prime Minister May’s response was the opposite of Pope Francis’ and President Trump’s who both tweeted support for the parents, see here.

TRANSFER TO ROME HOSPITAL REJECTED
Yesterday Crux news reported that the hospital has rejected the offer of the Bambino Gesu children’s hospital in Rome to takeover Charlie’s care.

Bambino Gesù (in English, Baby Jesus) had put out a statement on Monday that the hospital’s president, Mariella Enoc, instructed their health director to ask GOSH if Charlie could be moved to them.

Enoc said that GOSH

told us that, for legal reasons, the baby can’t be transferred to us. That’s one more sad note.” [However]…We are close to the parents in prayer and, if this is their desire, [still] willing to take their child, for the time he has left to live.”

On Monday Italian Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, former President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, analyzed little Charlie Gard’s case and offered “10 critical points” for consideration in the Italian daily La Stampa.

The Cardinal criticized the improper “dynamic” between the decisions of the medical team and the will of the parents as well as the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, for “assuming a purely procedural position,” instead of examining “passive euthanasia on a new-born.

Even if experimental treatment is withheld from Charlie, he is owed the provision of life support services. “A person affected by an ailment considered, in the present state of medicine, as incurable,” the Cardinal wrote, “is paradoxically the subject that, more than any other, has the right to request and obtain continuous assistance and care, attention and devotion.”

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Bittersweet Father’s Day for dad of Charlie Gard, on life-support under court order

It was a bittersweet first Father’s Day for Charlie Gard’s dad, Chris, and his partner Connie Yates. Yesterday they did not know whether their son’s respirator would be shut off Monday night.

But it won’t be shut off for at least three weeks, under rulings from both the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the UK Supreme Court. The latter has ordered life-support continue until July 10.

At stake is whether the UK parents will be able to take their 10 month old son to the U.S. for experimental therapy for his rare and debilitating mitochondrial depletion disease.

Currently, London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has insisted they have deduced Charlie’s “best interests” to be staying on the premises, removing his respirator and being allowed to “die with dignity.”

Today ECHR judges in Strasbourg, France, have ordered that Charlie’s life “must be maintained until such time as the Court makes its decision.” This extends their June 13 ruling which had ordered Charlie’s life-sustaining care be kept going at GOSH only until at least midnight tonight.

Now that attorneys for Charlie’s parents have submitted the required “substantive application” (beyond last week’s emergency interim intervention),  the ECHR will review and rule on the matter.

Furthermore, the Court’s press release states that “in light of the exceptional circumstances of the case, the Court has already accorded it priority and will treat the application with the utmost urgency.” No expected date for a ruling was given other than it will be on “an expedited timetable.”

HOSPITAL STILL HOSTILE
With that in mind–and with GOSH legally challenging the authority of the European Court–a three member panel of the UK Supreme Court that had sided with GOSH just last month, has now ordered life-support to continue so that ECHR may rule.

Connie and Chris have lost two rounds of court rulings and then the UK Supreme Court before appealing to the ECHR, whose direct jurisdiction is the UK government, not the hospital. Charlie’s parents have fought to give their son a chance at an oral-medication treatment regimen in the United States that supposedly has helped at least 18 similarly situated patients.

However Charlie’s parents cannot yet breathe easy as this morning’s Supreme Court hearing shows how hostile the hospital is toward letting Charlie live. Chris and Connie have characterized the hospital’s conduct as “inhuman” and maintain a 24/7 presence.

Charlie posed with unused passport

The public continues its outpouring of support for parental decision-making regarding healthcare for their children. The GoFundMe pledges to pay for the overseas trip for Charlie have continued steadily and now more than $1.78 million is pledged.

As the court battles continue over whether UK hospitals may sentence a child to death, Charlie remains alive.  Yesterday, a touching Facebook photo of him with his passport open was posted by his parents.

But, the sad question remains whether Charlie will ever get to the United States for therapy.

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2017 KC Royals scoreboard ad for Pro-life group, Vitae

Baseball fans at Royals Stadium last Tuesday may have noticed a small plane overhead dragging a mystifying message: ROYALS FANS DESERVE TRUTH — DROP VITAE.

Fans who could recollect no player on the team roster named “Vitae” didn’t give it a second thought.

The banner was fielded by radical pro-abortionists schooled at MoveOn.org calling themselves “UltraViolet.”   It was meant to piggyback on the Kansas City Star report about UltraViolet’s online petition opposing the Royals’ ad contract with the Missouri-based Vitae Foundation.

Vitae (pronounced vee’tay) means “for Life.” The Vitae Foundation has been dedicated to using mass media to build a culture of life and encourage women to utilize pregnancy assistance centers. The Royals scoreboard last week showed a mother and baby with the Vitae group logo.

But that was too much of a threat for UltraViolet. It alleges that Vitae “manipulates the public by spreading extreme, deceptive anti-choice propaganda not only to those seeking reproductive health care options, but also to young children.”

Really? That statement appears to have about as much credibility as the book by Christopher Hitchens vilifying Mother Teresa.

UltraViolet is long on vitriol and short on specific details as to Vitae’s alleged “lies”– despite the fact that plenty of Vitae’s life-affirming messages have been in circulation for 25 years.

Here’s part of Vitae’s press statement — information that never made it into the Star or USA Today– about their activities designed to empower women:

” If a woman in a difficult pregnancy makes the courageous decision to bring her child into the world, Vitae believes she should have meaningful support in making that decision. Pregnancy centers provide that support, and the Vitae Foundation is privileged to work with those pregnancy centers as they support women in making a decision they can live with.”

In fact, Kansas and Missouri have a plethora of “no charge”assistance centers to help women lacking support for delivering their babies.

No local furor has erupted against the Royals’ ad contract with the Vitae Foundation. In fact, most commenters to the local news story echoed these sample sentiments:

Mark M: “Future babies mean future fans. Torn up and killed babies will not be buying tickets or going to games.”

Andy B: “Seeing these pro-abort groups stoop to these levels shows how threatened they are by our message.”

Jeannette K: “Thank you Royals for taking a stand for the unborn with no voice.”

David H: “Royals made the correct CHOICE.”

The Vitae Foundation has developed public service campaigns directing women to real assistance centers where solutions don’t involve abortion.

Now that’s a home run.

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Baby Charlie Gard’s parents feel he is a hostage in hospital, backed by courts

The British Supreme Court delivered devastating news today: they will not hold an emergency hearing to overturn a death verdict for baby Charlie Gard.

The top court reaffirmed lower court rulings from April and May that Charlie’s parents cannot remove him from a London hospital, and that life-sustaining measures be stopped so the ten month old boy might “die with dignity.”

BBC legal commentator, Joshua Rozenberg, tweeted that GOSH must not withdraw life-support before 5pm Friday to allow time to make an appeal to European Court of Human Rights.

Rozenberg

Rozenberg reported that Lady Hale, one of three Supreme Court justices reviewing Charlie’s legal appeal this past week, “says parents can’t insist on treatment that’s not in (the) child’s interests.”

The Independent reported that Charlie’s mother “broke down in tears, shouting: ‘How could they do this to us?’ as she was led from the court by lawyers.”

Charlie is being ravaged by a rare, genetically-caused disease (mitochondrial depletion syndrome), detected when he was 2 months old. An alternative “nucleoside bypass” oral therapy is on trial in the U.S. Charlie’s parents decided they wanted that option.

In a valiant attempt to be able to leave the country with Charlie, his  parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have  battled three courts and the famed Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) where Charlie is on a ventilator.

An MRI in January when the baby was five months old detected no structural brain damage. But in February GOSH wanted Charlie’s life support to end and, moreover, prohibited his removal from the hospital.

 “FUTILITY POLICY” BEATS PARENTS’ RIGHTS
Social media proves that the public is outraged at the hubris of the courts in this matter.  This is the same public that raised $1.5 million dollars in a GoFundMe campaign created by Charlie’s parents to fly him overseas for treatment.

In the April Court of Appeal ruling, Charlie was referred to as having “an awful existence.” The Court opined, “[P]arents may lose their objectivity and be willing to try anything” and insisted that the new bypass therapy was “not viable.”

The Court of Appeal rejected the various arguments of Charlie’s lead attorney, Richard Gordon, that the court had no standing to uphold GOSH against parental authority because Charlie was under no threat of “significant harm” from his parents.

The Court nonetheless insists that it is their duty to make a “best interests” assessment which included whether:

  • the treatment causes pain,
  • the medical condition itself is a severe burden, and
  • it is Impossible to derive benefit from continued life.

“Benefit from continued life” and “severe burden” are undefined terms yet they are the lynch pin of the claim the courts are using to end Charlie’s life. His parents do not believe he is in pain, and they have promised not to inflict any. Their rational medical decision has been crushed by the courts’ haughty claim to be the ultimate arbiter of the value in “continued life.”

Back in 2014, another British hospital had forbidden parents from taking the child out of hospital for a new treatment. (read more here) Britain actually arrested (and later released) the parents who took their ailing child out of the country for a successful cancer therapy that Britain is only now this year beginning to offer.

The therapy worked, young Ashya King is alive and well, yet British courts have not learned their lesson.

And Charlie Gard and his parents are paying the ultimate price.

Thousands are anxiously following this drama and praying that the European Court of Human Rights will play a heroic part in it. Stay tuned.

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2017 KC Royals scoreboard ad for Pro-life group, subject of petition

Under the heading, “Kansas City Royals, stop lying about abortion,” an online petition group, Ultraviolet, is currently urging its followers to contact the baseball team to “cut ties with the Vitae Foundation” for “promoting extreme anti-choice propaganda” to women and children.

This pro-abortion campaign comes on the heels of a successful campaign to censor pro-life ads on a local radio station at the behest of Planned Parenthood Great Plains.

But, as usual, it is the pro-abortionists doing the bullying who are untruthful.

First, about the Kansas City Royals. …

On Friday, the Kansas City Star covered a petition against the Royals, and described the source as “a national women’s advocacy group,” Ultraviolet.

Ultraviolet is actually an online petition group supporting abortion among a variety of liberal causes. The group began in 2015 and is guided by former staff from MoveOn.org.

The Vitae Foundation, on the other hand, is a highly respected, Kansas City area non-profit, formed 25 years ago to “encourage a culture of life through research-based messaging and mass media.” The mission of Vitae (the Latin term “for Life”) is to “encourage dialog in a non-threatening manner.”

Ultraviolet’s outrage is aimed at radio ad buys during Royals’ broadcasts, and a sponsorship that allows an announcement about Vitae Foundation and a foundation logo shown on the scoreboard.

The ‘offending’ electronic scoreboard on the Ultraviolet website petition is last year’s image, which is as subtle and inoffensive as the new one. The 2017 display is a photo of a mom gazing at a baby with this message: “VITAE Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary of Life-Saving Media /A Real Game Changer.”

What exactly is the dangerous propaganda in that display which is unfit for baseball fans?

“Vitae has similar [promotional] agreements with other sports properties and media outlets,” the Royals’ spokesman told the Star.

The Star, referencing an Ultraviolet press release (not found online at press time) also cited another of Vitae’s supposed offenses– sponsorship of a pro-life essay contest with the winners receiving Royals’ tickets.

Baseball tickets as an incentive? Insert faux shudder.

Vitae issued a statement Friday on the controversy: “If a woman in a difficult pregnancy makes the courageous decision to bring her child into the world, Vitae believes she should have meaningful support in making that decision.”

But abortion supporters cannot tolerate support for a “choice” for life in the public venue of a sports arena.

Advice & Aid Pregnancy Center with Planned Parenthood in background

ANOTHER ANTI-LIFE CAMPAIGN
The campaign to end advertisements for the pro-life Vitae Foundation follows Planned Parenthood’s unfortunately successful censoring of low-key ads for  Advice & Aid Pregnancy Center on the alternative radio station “96.5 the Buzz.” According to the Sentinel, the station had sought out Advice and Aid to become a sponsor and contracted for 328 ads. This was the ad:

“Feeling scared? Depressed? Vulnerable? Is pregnancy making you feel that life is over? Advice and Aid Pregnancy Centers will help you regardless of your struggle. You have access to a 24-hour hotline, pregnancy tests, sonograms, peer counseling and STI testing, all free of charge. Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers is here to support you as you make your decision. Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers — serving families facing pregnancy before, during and after with compassion.”

Only two ads were run, on May 12 & 13, before the campaign was suddenly ended.

“Before the campaign had even gotten off the ground, a local Planned Parenthood affiliate, part of the nation’s largest abortion provider, objected,” according to the Sentinel. “Its staffers took to social media asking the radio station to pull the ads.”

The radio station’s turnaround came after Planned Parenthood Great Plains posted this on its Facebook page:

“Advice and Aid, an anti-choice extremist group that operates under the guise of a health center, is now advertising on 96.5 The Buzz, KC’s alternative radio station. Let’s help The Buzz understand why Advice & Aid is dangerous for their listeners. Tell the radio station to reject these advertising dollars.”

Advice and Aid executive director Ruth Tisdale told the Sentinel that from the outset, the radio station sales reps were clearly aware of the center’s operation and the abundant medical staff. The sales reps visited the center, “knew our website inside and out,” and “were thrilled that we would advertise on the station.” However “the campaign was ultimately removed, and the contract abruptly canceled.”

The Sentinel added that Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Communications Director, “was interviewed by Buzz on-air personality Lazlo, host of “The Church of Lazlo,” for a podcast. The nine-minute segment was chock full of factual errors about Advice & Aid and contained the typical inaccurate list of talking points perpetrated by Planned Parenthood whenever they attempt to discredit the work of pregnancy resource centers. The only accurate fact Lee-Gilmore stated was that the two businesses are next door to each other.”

Aye, there’s the rub. Advice and Aid is right there when women drive up to Planned Parenthood in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park.

The for-profit abortion business is desperate to squash the option for life that they see every day out their window.

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In an eleventh hour action, a three member panel of the UK Supreme Court issued a temporary court-ordered reprieve in the case of a nine month old baby whose life support had been scheduled to be turned off at midnight Wednesday over his parents’ strenuous objections.

The panel will announce whether they will take the case on June 8. Until then, life support cannot be removed from Charlie Gard.

The drama centers around little Charlie, suffering from a rare mitochondrial depletion syndrome. His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have been prevented from removing him from the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London to take him to the United States for experimental treatment.

In two lower court rulings , issued April 11 and May 25, GOSH’s control over Charlie has trumped the parent’s wishes to take their son overseas for nucleoside bypass therapy. Connie told ITV News:

“We have had our parental rights stripped away as if they don’t matter at all. Our son is basically being kept as a prisoner at the hospital.”

Chris told the interviewer, that if Charlie didn’t need “an apparatus blowing air into his lungs I could take him away,” but because he does, “we don’t have a chance and they [GOSH] get to say what happens to him.”

In its coverage of the latest development, The Sun newspaper includes a video news clip that shows an American girl, ”Sara,” who was once immobilized with the same mitochondrial syndrome but is now riding a bike after one year of the nucleoside bypass treatment.

The hospital position—thus far affirmed in court– is that Charlie is already so “ravaged” that he will not “benefit” from the new therapy and he should be allowed to die “with dignity.”

A tremendous public outcry in opposition to the hospital’s position is backed up with $1.5 million pledged on GoFundMe to pay for Charlie’s therapy and trip overseas.

If permission is granted next Thursday by the Supreme Court, another date for a full hearing will be set.

The Daily Mail reports that his parents’ plan is “to try to go to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if they lose at the Supreme Court.”

The delay in court rulings, while sparing Charlie from being unplugged from the respirator, has prevented him from starting the new therapy.

The ordeal has been, in Connie’s words, “absolutely terrifying” but both parents have vowed they won’t stop fighting for their son, saying: “Where there’s life there’s hope.”

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Charlie & dad; UK court ruling today confirms hospital removal of life-support

A second court has now doomed 9-months-old Charlie Gard to die inside a London hospital.

The UK Court of Appeal ruled this morning against the plea of parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard that they be allowed to take their failing son out of a British hospital for experimental treatment in the U.S.

The decision by Justices Andrew McFarlane, Eleanor King and Philip Sales affirmed a lower court ruling of April 11 that the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) keep Charlie on the premises and remove him from a ventilator and feeding tube.

As reported by The Guardian, the Appeal Court judges had been otherwise urged by Charlie’s lead attorney, Richard Gordon, that the case raised serious legal issues, including the possibility that Charlie might be being unlawfully detained and denied his right to liberty. Gordon argued, The Guardian reported, that,

“What is really at stake in this case is the state, on a massive scale, intruding in your right to private and family life.”

Charlie entered GOSH in October and was diagnosed as suffering from a form of mitochondrial disease that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. Subsequently, his parents discovered that 18 people in the United States had been treated with an oral medication of naturally occurring compounds to remedy this rare condition. Reports have not identified the doctor who initially agreed to treat Charlie, but it was noted that his parents were aware that no cure was promised.

Attorney Gordon urged that the Appeal Court, “[S]hould not interfere with the exercising of parental rights… and stand in the way of their only remaining hope.”

Over 80,000 people around the world agreed with that position and generously pledged over $1.5 million in a GoFundMe campaign (#Charliesfight) to get him out of the hospital and into the experimental therapy.

GOSH attorneys pressed the Appeal Court to agree that the parents’ proposed treatment for Charlie would result in a “condition of existence which is offering the child no benefit.”

One can only sadly wonder, alternatively, what Charlie’s “condition” would have been if GOSH had released him—months ago– for the new therapy.

His parents never imagined that bringing their baby to a hospital meant they would lose the ability to remove him.  But that is what British courts have now decreed.

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