Charlie Gard is 10-months-old and lives in the UK. He responds when his parents tickle his feet, and he opens his eyes when they come in the room. Charlie also has a genetic condition that causes his mitochondria to deteriorate, meaning he can't get the energy his body needs. This makes him terminally ill, and he needs life support machines such as a breathing tube, etc, to continue to live.
There is a doctor in the US who has been working with children like Charlie and has a treatment that may help him regenerate his mitochondria, potentially saving his life. However, the courts ruled to not only take away Charlie's parent's parental rights, but they also ruled that he should be taken off life support and be allowed to die. They will not allow Charlies to come to the US, even though the doctor previously mentioned is ready to receive him. Charlie is not in pain, but he does have brain damage.
The UK courts have decided that since this little baby will never be a fully productive citizen, they should allow him to die, because what use could someone with brain damage be to a population? Also, let's not forget that it costs money to keep Charlie alive. And they don't think that that money should be spent sustaining a life. He is a ward of the state since they took away his parent's rights, and that means they can do whatever they like with him.
You should care about Charlie for several reasons, first, he is a child who is being allowed to die. He has worlds of potential, and there is hope for him, but instead, the UK courts have decided to make his parents watch him slowly die over the course of several days. Second, his intrinsic dignity as a human being is being trampled. His current doctors have stated that they want Charlie to "die with dignity."
I don't see anything very dignified about taking away the potential of a human life because you don't want the trouble of paying for medical services that could save that life. Charlie's dignity entitles him to a right to life. Third, the UK courts should not be allowed to decide when an innocent child's life ends. They didn't give him life and they can not take it away. It is wrong, plain and simple.
There are more things wrong with this sick situation than I can count, but Charlie's right to life is on the line. You need to care because this is indicative of our world attitude towards those who are vulnerable. The world doesn't value anyone who is different or less than our idea of "perfect". There are already laws in other countries that allow parents to kill their special needs children, even after they are born. You need to care because change starts with individuals.
At the date this article was written it is not known what turn this horrible situation will take, but Charlie's parents will need support no matter the outcome. I ask anyone reading to send a prayer or kind thought their way.
Here is the link to the change.org petition to release Charlie from the Ormond Hospital's care. I ask you to consider signing.