Charlie Gard: 2016-2017. May he rest in peace.
A young mother forwarded this article from the Guardian, asking my thoughts. The author of the piece is Ian Kennedy, emeritus professor of health, law, ethics, and policy at University College London. I’ve reproduced the article below in its entirety, interspersing my comments (mostly) on Professor Kennedy’s corrupt methods of communication.
Battles like this are no longer fought with straightforward prose making truth claims. Instead, truth is assumed to be dead and “winning” consists of making your opponents look bad by the use of rhetorical smears, ploys, and lies. The evil of Professor Kennedy’s manipulative rhetoric matches the evil of his rebellion against the authority God has placed in fatherhood and motherhood. Charlie Gard, may he rest in peace, is
On to the article and my response:
No one can be other than deeply moved by the sad story of Charlie Gard. His short life has been one of illness and suffering. His parents have lived every hour of the past 11 months with the nightmare that is every parent’s worst fear – what’s going to happen to Charlie?
It is common, but glib, to talk of Charlie Gard as a “case”;
“Glib” is the wrong word and, leaving it in his text, the Guardian’s editors failed Kennedy. They should have changed it to “callous” or “dehumanizing.”
On the other hand, what is most certainly glib is Kennedy’s claim that “no one can be other than deeply moved.” Not only glib, but also a lie: many, if not most, people have not been moved at all by Charlie Gard’s sad story—starting with Kennedy himself.
…he is not a case, he’s a very sick, terminally ill little boy with a rare genetic condition and consequent brain damage.
“Very sick” and “terminally ill.”
As in “redundant” and “very repetitious.”
But he has also become a “case” – challenging us how to respond to his condition; a case that has attracted worldwide attention. His parents, his doctors and nurses and Great Ormond Street hospital have found themselves in a maelstrom of opinion, concern and worse stretching from the White House to the Vatican.
“They” (if we’re talking about the doctor-ghouls) didn’t “find themselves” in anything. They put themselves in. They inserted themselves in. They commandeered Charlie’s life—or should we say “Charlie’s death.”
And that word “worse”: does Kennedy really ask us to feel sorry for, and pity, these “doctors and nurses” enforcing Charlie’s death?
Amid the grief and sadness, there is, however, a value, indeed a need, to stand back and think about what we can learn. Around 20 years ago, I was just about to leave for the airport in Auckland when I got a call from some lawyers. It was 7am. Would I meet them urgently in half an hour to advise on a case? I said of course, provided I could catch my plane.
A boy had suffered a catastrophic injury while being operated on: his neck had been broken. Though alert and talkative, he was paralysed. His parents had told his doctors that they wanted care to be withdrawn (he was on a ventilator) so that he could die peacefully. He wasn’t terminally ill, but they thought it best given what the future would hold.
There was no precedent in New Zealand. My advice was that the parents’ views were not the last word…
Uh, no. His advice was not that the parents should not have the last word, but rather that murder is murder and premeditated murder shouldn’t be allowed. Note how this word “murder” clarifies things.
…the lawyers should go to court, ensure that the child was separately represented by a lawyer, and that the only question for the court was what was in the child’s best interests.
Uh no. We’re not talking about good/better/best interests, here. We’re talking premeditated murder.
The advice was followed. The child was made a ward of court, was cared for and lived on.
Yes. There we have it. “Lived on.” That’s what generally happens when murder conspiracies are foiled.
I’m sure that those who have involved themselves…
Why speak of “those who have involved themselves” in exposing and opposing the premeditated murder of Charlie Gard when you didn’t speak of you yourself having involved yourself in the premeditated murder of the Auckland child?
Of course. You’re always right and needed because you have—what, a Ph.D.? Meanwhile, everyone else is a busy-body. Everyone else is “involving themselves” because, what? Because they aren’t specialists in health, law, ethics, and policy?
But speaking of “involving ourselves,” do neighbors not have a duty to defend the innocent and helpless against those determined to murder them? Kennedy speaks as if anyone expressing concern and exposing the medical ghouls before the court of public opinion is a busy-body.
…in the case of Charlie Gard would applaud what happened in Auckland.
Yeah, something about applauding the man who exposes and opposes the premeditated murder of a little child, you know.
But if they do, they would also have to acknowledge a number of things that have been part of our approach to the care of children since the 19th century. The first is the most fundamental: as a society, we must choose how to decide such heartbreaking cases.
Actually not. We don’t have to acknowledge any of these things. Not a single one.
Meanwhile, note that, a second ago, it was people “involving themselves.” But now, “society” (whoever that is and wherever he can be found) has a “most fundamental” duty to “choose.” And this fundamental duty is somewhere between 117 and 217 years old. In other words, by the standards of Millennials and FB, it is ancient.
In principles of law, though, a century or two is quite recent. Modern, even.
Of course each child is different…
Of course. So noted.
…but do we accept that there should be principles and rules, whatever the circumstances, that guide us as we try to work out what’s best?
What’s this “we”? Didn’t you rebuke us a minute ago for “involving ourselves?” Didn’t you say we were busy-bodies?
More importantly, the father and mother are the natural sovereigns God has placed over their children. Not this “we.” Not society. Sure, we and society have a duty to stop the father and mother from aborting the child. It’s premeditated murder. To stop the father and mother from killing the child through robbing him of food and/or water. It’s premeditated murder. From dropping the child off a cliff. It’s premeditated murder.
But this is not what’s going on with little precious Charlie. So enough with your talk of fundamental duties and each child being different and principles and rules and circumstances, and trying to work out what is best and so on.
Enough with your “we”. Charlie’s parents aren’t planning to murder Charlie. They’re trying to save his life. It’s the doctor-ghouls who are trying to kill him. It’s the doctor-ghouls who are intent on carrying out premeditated murder.
So when did you switch sides?
Yes, we have a fundamental duty to defend Charlie against them. All of us who are civilized have that duty.
We can, of course, reject such a view and choose to go with the heart and emotions.
“Heart and emotions?” Are you serious, Mr. Intellectual Talking Head? Those seeking to remove the doctor-ghouls from their oppression and bloodthirsty contributions to this situation are moved and carried along by emotion while the doctor-ghouls and you are moved and carried along by what? Bloodthirstiness? Cruelty? Hatred of your neighbor and his children? Stubbornness and pride?
Are these not emotions?
But if we do, whose heart should prevail when there are conflicting views?
Uh. You know, I feel stupid saying this but…
The parents. Can I say that?
Where there is conflict, how do you resolve it? Alternatively, we can reason our way through, cold as this may appear.
Alternatively to what?
Well, alternatively to the parents and their supporters and their stupid emotions.
On the one hand, we have Talking Head Professor who claims to be motivated by pure reason. On the other hand, we have stupid parents in the bondage of their stupid emotions—starting with love for poor precious Charlie.
We can accept the idea of principles and rules. And, if reason is to prevail, you need to analyse how to proceed.
Uh, yeah, Talking Head; principles and rules. Principles like, for instance, “first of all, do no harm.” Rules like “Thou shalt not murder.”
These are the steps. The first is to recognise that children do not belong to their parents.
Now the demon shows himself.
And note that sneaky word “belong.” This man is an enforcer for Hillary Clinton and every liberal who believes it takes a village and the village owns the children. He doesn’t explicitly say it here and now, but this professor is telling us that children belong to the state and its functionaries—not the child’s natural sovereigns placed over them by God. Father and mother.
The real issue isn’t ownership, but authority, and the man or woman who argues that the authority of the state trumps the authority of the parents is a monster.
Meanwhile, to say that the state has an obligation to protect the child from his parents murdering him does not necessitate everyone accepting the fact that, concerning the authority of adults over children, the state trumps the parents. In fact, God gave Charlie to his father and mother—not the state. And something on the order of premeditated murder would have to be imminent before the state displaced the authority of Charlie’s father and mother with the authority of judges.
Second, when a claim is made that parents have rights over their children…
Oh, so now we’ve switched from the author declaring that children do not “belong” to their parents to parents not having “rights” over their children. “Belonging” and “rights.” This blabbermouth is using prejudicial language to alienate his readers from Charlie’s parents when, in fact, Charlie’s parents are loving and seeking to protect him from premeditated murder. Charlie’s father and mother are anything but emotional creatures who think Charlie “belongs” to them and they have a “right” to do what they want with him!
…it is important to step back and examine the language used. We need to remind ourselves that parents do not have rights regarding their children, they only have duties, the principal duty being to act in their children’s best interests.
Well, Mr. Blabbermouth, if you want to talk duties, let us ask to whom they are duty-bound? The state or God? If we were to accept your weighted language of duty, do you recognize the first duty we all have is to God Who made us? And that if the state is declaring its right to murder our child, we have a duty before God to fight the state to death in the protection of our child? Is this the duty you speak of, Dr. Emeritus?
This has been part of the fabric of our law and our society for a long time.
“This?” Pray tell, what meaneth thou by “this?”
Also, what meaneth thou by “long time?” Since yesterday. Since last year? Since the state has declared our minor daughters have a right to murder their unborn child without their father and mother’s knowledge?
Third, if we are concerned with the language of rights, it is, of course, children who have rights; any rights that parents have exist only to protect their children’s rights.
This guy doesn’t stop hissing. Like a snake. Like Satan in the garden. If we keep listening to him, we’ll stop nursing and burping and changing our children. And most certainly we’ll stop spanking them. After all, it is children who (of course) have rights, and any rights parents might think they have are only the right to protect children’s rights.
Because, you see, sons and daughters are not to honor and obey fathers and mothers. Sons and daughters are to honor and obey doctor-ghouls and their judges; and ultimately Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and their bloodthirsty Planned Parenthood and Awful Ormond Street Hospital executioners.
But even taking this man at his word, if the only right fathers have is to protect the rights of their children, how about their children’s right to life? Are fathers not to protect that right?
Parents cannot always be the ultimate arbiters of their children’s interests
Now, in giving effect to a child’s rights, the parents’ views as to their children’s interests should usually be respected.
Ah, now the time has arrived for this bloody man to show a bit of magnanimity toward the poor beleaguered parents he has been dissing nonstop from the first word he uttered. Let’s see where he leads us.
But parents cannot always be the ultimate arbiters of their children’s interests.
But of course, it was a ruse. Mr. Busy-Body had no intent at all to defend Charlie or his parents, but only to strum the same string he’s been strumming.
If parents, for example, insist on subjecting their child to a particular diet that, in the view of others with acknowledged expertise in the subject, will cause the child harm, we do not stand by. We intervene to safeguard the child.
So now, we’re talking the state’s authority trumping the mother’s authority over her sons and daughters’ food! The state is responsible to sit in judgment over the children’s diets!
No more soda pop for you, little man. Mrs. Obama thinks it’s bad for you and she’s the boss. Forget your stupid mother! She’s ignorant. She’s led by emotions rather than pure reason. She has no right over you. She doesn’t own you.
Mrs. Obama and Mr. Smarty-Pants from London own you.
When such concerns arise, there has to be a mechanism to decide the circumstances in which parents’ views should not prevail. That mechanism has to be a trustworthy and independent source of authority
Yes, because the state has no relation to our children by blood or adoption, the state is better able to make judgments about our children.
God placed our children under our authority and the state robs us of them. Except, one would guess, when it comes to nursing and changing them. To paying their doctor bills and ferrying them to Little League and piano lessons. To putting them to bed and getting them up in the morning. To praying for them and kissing them goodnight. To singing them lullabies and Psalms of Heaven as the doctor-ghouls, their judges, and their Chop-Logic Chattering Man conspire and carry out their murders.
…sometimes a local authority, but ultimately, as ever in a civic society, a court. The court’s sole concern must be, can only be, for the child and the child’s interests.
Yes, the great and mighty and objective court that is sufficiently removed from milk and honey and bread and kisses and lullabies that it’s judgment will be only pure reason.
The great and mighty court who will not allow any thoughts or concerns of fathers and mothers to corrupt their judgments. No indeed; they will think only of the interests of the child. Allowing a thought of the child’s father or mother would only serve to mislead them.
Evidence and views, particularly those of the parents, must be listened to. The court must then decide and, crucially, make its decision and reasoning public, exposing it to scrutiny and holding it to account.
And we all know how accountable to public opinion and judgments the courts have shown themselves to be.
The court is not infallible.
Uh, really? Has this man never heard of precedent? If that is not infallibility, what is?
That’s why we allow for appeals; a kind of second thought.
“Allow?” How privileged we are that the Great and Mighty Courts and their Judges allow us to appeal their decisions. Let us all give thanks.
But, ultimately, we are not in the realm of there being a right answer. We are in the realm of judgment, reasoned judgment, and we look to the courts to provide this.
Actually, all of us—and most especially the courts—are in the realm of there being a right answer. God Himself has spoken saying “Thou shalt not murder,” and One Day soon, He will judge murderers of one-year-old baby boys. Not just for murder, but also for defying the authority of those boys’ fathers and mothers.
This process depends of course on acceptance of the supremacy of reasoned argument over passion and the acceptance of the independence and authority of the courts.
Yes yes; of course.
Campaigns against the courts, whether led by tabloid newspapers, organised through social media or exploited by sectional [sic] and religious groups, are increasingly a feature of modern discourse. It is one thing to comment on or criticise a particular decision. It is a very different thing to attack the institution of the courts.
Impeach them. Now. All of them. Immediately.
Sure, we’ll throw out some good with the bad, but the bad is overwhelming and only impeachment and starting all over again will restore the rule of law. The courts and their lawyers are lawless and have been for decades, now. Only when the weak and vulnerable are again protected by our courts will the rule of law have been reestablished.
Here, in Charlie Gard’s case, the call has been to keep the courts out; they don’t understand. Only the parents should decide: let passion prevail.
No. It wasn’t passion, but mere love—something the courts would never understand.
Those behind such calls should reflect on what they wish for in case they get it. A whole system designed to address dispassionately the rights and interests of children would be pushed aside.
And the sooner, the better.
And perhaps they should think of that little boy in Auckland.
Yup, think of him and weep that this man who used to oppose premeditated murder is now defending it, and justifying his defense by hoodwinking his readers into thinking he’s the same man he used to be.
Pity Professor Kennedy. Pity the Guardian sinking to such depths as to publish his betrayal of precious little Charlie Gard and his parents. Pity the nation that is governed by civil magistrates who think this is the rule of law. Pity Charlie’s father and mother whose love and authority were subverted at every step of the way.
Pity all those who refuse to hear our Lord’s blessed words, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).