REV DAVID FAREY: To have a child is a precious gift of life
The story of baby Charlie Gard is truly awful, a nightmare scenario that no one would wish upon anyone.
Baby Charlie has a genetic condition which means he cannot even breathe without aid. His quality of life is practically zero. The medical experts have been seeking to switch off the aids and let Charlie die. They see no future for him.
On the other hand his parents Chris and Connie have a different view. There is a chance, albeit a very slim chance that a treatment in the United States might have an effect upon Charlie’s condition and give him a chance of life.
The implications are costly in terms of medical support and necessary permissions.
To have a child is a precious gift of life and parents have a special responsibility to do what they can for that tiny life. It is given that parents will love their children.
Only if there is some distortion or fault in a person’s make up would that love be absent.
Sadly there are all too many children who become victims of those distortions and faults. Charlie Gard’s parents are to be praised for their obstinacy and desire to do their best for him.
A fundamental issue this raises is what price a life? From a loving parents’ point of view you would pay any price for the good of your children. There have been accounts of parents donating kidneys to save their children. In a world where everything gets reduced down to pounds and pence and whether something fits in with man-made rules love and compassion do not have an easy time of it. Being a parent is one of the greatest joys of life but can also bring the greatest pain, as Mary mother of Jesus knows!
Because of limited resources the medical authorities cannot provide all the care and medicines and treatments for everyone who needs them.
They have to make choices which will mean some not getting treatment at the expense of others receiving it.
Without Charlie’s parents taking the stand they have Charlie would have been long gone.
My hope and prayer is that Charlie’s parents will have a clear conscience that they have done everything they could have done for their child and will not be criticised for being loving and caring parents.
Also that the individuals in authority will feel that they too have done all they can to provide a quality of life for all those in their care and have used the resources available to them to the best of their abilities.
Our children are precious so let no one do anything consciously which causes a little one hurt.