Rationalization and Charlie Gard

 

Our ability to rationally evaluate and make choices upon our evaluation is what places us above the animals. Yet, our very rationality can sometimes work against us. We become too subtle and too arrogant. After our first clear ethical response, we start rationalizing to obtain a result that, however unethical, benefits our narrow interests. We can rationalize away the most basic human right. Because a few parents risk the health of their children, this serves as an excuse for a single-payer administrative state to remove all parental rights and make choices that are only appropriate for parents to make. After waiting 11 months for the child to die, now an immediate mercy killing is justified to save the face of the institution. Of course, we’ll rationalize this by talking about the best interests of the child determined by medical science, not emotion. Oh, what a brave new world.

Those who never accept an ethical view of life always assert an all-powerful state above the rights of individuals. They are a crafty enemy not to be underestimated.

Still, it is possible to overcome the enemy and return to the right path.

VP Mike Pence: ‘We Hope and Pray that Little Charlie Gard Gets Every Chance’

On Monday afternoon, High Court Judge Mr. Justice Francis, who made the initial High Court ruling in April, said the case would be listed for a full day Thursday. The judge explained a final decision may not come until Friday, meaning more delays to Charlie receiving treatment.

Chief Executive of Americans United for Life, Catherine Glenn-Foster, who is close to the Gard family, said on Sunday: “[Chris and Connie] are stressed as anyone would be in this situation, where their own parental rights are being stripped away by an institution that was hired to care for their son and instituted to care for the most vulnerable among us.

“That very institution hired to care for Charlie is trying to strip him of his rights and his parents of their rights to even just take him to get a second opinion.”

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  1. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    James Gawron: … Still, it is possible to overcome the enemy and return to the right path. …

    But will they do so?  (“They” being the people who think that they have the right to prevent his parents from taking him someplace else, for an experimental procedure.)

    • #1
  2. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Does this judicial arrogance find its source in G-dlessness?

    It used to be judges had a strong sense of accountability, not to themselves, but to G-d.

    What do we learn about this world through this Charlie Gard test?

    Where is our humanity? Where is our wisdom?

    J’suis Charlie.

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    James Gawron: Because a few parents risk the health of their children this serves as an excuse for a single-payer administrative state to remove all parental rights and make choices that are only appropriate for parents to make.

    This case goes far beyond mere single-payer health care. After all, there’s no reason for a single-payer system that refuses to pay for treatment to allow the parents to pay for out-of-system treatment themselves. Furthermore, the UK does have a parallel private hospital system, and there are also out-of-country options the parents would like to try, with costs paid for by willing donors.

    No, this case isn’t about single-payer. It has nothing to do with the cost to the UK health system. It’s much more insidious than that. It’s about government assuming guardianship rights over and above the child’s own parents.

    Even if the UK had 100% privately-funded health care, the government could still order that treatment be withheld from the child.

    This is about the ethos that government is supreme, not about the mere question of how best to pay for things.

    • #3
  4. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    Where is our humanity? Where is our wisdom?

    Whattayamean “our”?

    “We” aren’t the ones making this ruling.  I accept zero responsibility for the decisions made by the NHS administrators or Mr. Justice Francis in this case.

    • #4
  5. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):
    This is about the ethos that government is supreme, not about the mere question of how best to pay for things.

    Mis,

    I think that the attitude of the government that you describe goes hand in hand with the ethos of single-payer. Experts know best, the Government knows best so why listen to anybody else the single payer system will handle everything. This is the excuse for overriding basic human rights. Of course, it’s not the money with Charlie but if money was involved then how much more would such a system feel entitled to override the rights of the individual. How much more would they make a zero sum calculation of your quality of life and render a life or death decision that would allow for no second opinion?

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
  6. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    “What if the reverse were true? And the parents wanted no treatment [for a treatable condition.]”

    It is reasonable for a society to assume that, all other things being equal,  a child’s best interest is in remaining alive. It’s not always true, but it’s true enough often enough to make life the default ethic. It should also be the default ethic that when life or death decisions re being made, people who know and love you shall decide for you. In this case, both default ethics support Charlie’s parents.

    “Medical Science, not emotion, needs to best protect Charlie’s interests.” But what if medical science isn’t sure? It seems that “Medical Science” is not monolithic in this situation. As a neurologist in an ICU explained to me just recently, when the patient is a young person, we tend to go for the Hail Mary pass. Rightly so.

    There is such a thing as a rotten situation in which the best medical guess is that the baby is, very simply, going to die. This was true of my baby grandson. There was no Hail Mary pass to try. The only question was how many days, and how much suffering he would have to go through. Increasing the pain relief and removing the life support systems meant he got to die peacefully in his mother’s arms, surrounded by his family who adored his little five-day-old self with all our hearts.  We still miss him.

    The notion that strangers are more likely to have your best interests at heart than the members of your own family is a modern novelty—bizarre by historical standards.

     

     

     

    • #6
  7. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):
    After all, there’s no reason for a single-payer system that refuses to pay for treatment to allow the parents to pay for out-of-system treatment themselves.

    No reason, but what I feared most about Obamacare was that such a system was its goal. Because fairness, you know.

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):
    Even if the UK had 100% privately-funded health care, the government could still order that treatment be withheld from the child.

    This is about the ethos that government is supreme, not about the mere question of how best to pay for things.

    The arrogance is breathtaking — literally, in Charlie’s case. And, yes, I believe these officious officials do not hold themselves accountable to a higher power.

    • #8
  9. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    The notion that strangers are more likely to have your best interests at heart than the members of your own family is a modern novelty—bizarre by historical standards.

    I once saw a BBC special on PBS. It featured a young woman from a working class family; she was going to be the first member of her family to go to college.I think she had studied karate, too. She looked a bit odd: She had congenital hydrocephalus, which hadn’t been diagnosed in time. She had been around two or three when they put the shunt in, and a lot of her brain had already been severely compromised. The program showed us the PET scan of her head: huge ventricles, not much cortex lighting up, except, IIRC, some in the cerebellum and occipital region. The reporter talked to her. It went something like this:

    “Are you aware of your medical condition?”

    “Oh, yes.”

    “Well, given what it shows about your brain, how do you explain what you’ve been able to accomplish?”

    Pause.

    “Well, I’m the sort of person who if you tell me I can’t do something, I can’t rest until I’ve done it.” (Camera shows her mother standing behind her wide eyed and nodding emphatically.)

    • #9
  10. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    “What if the reverse were true? And the parents wanted no treatment [for a treatable condition.]”

    It is reasonable for a society to assume that, all other things being equal, a child’s best interest is in remaining alive. It’s not always true, but it’s true enough often enough to make life the default ethic. It should also be the default ethic that when life or death decisions re being made, people who know and love you shall decide for you. In this case, both default ethics support Charlie’s parents.

    “Medical Science, not emotion, needs to best protect Charlie’s interests.” But what if medical science isn’t sure? It seems that “Medical Science” is not monolithic in this situation. As a neurologist in an ICU explained to me just recently, when the patient is a young person, we tend to go for the Hail Mary pass. Rightly so.

    There is such a thing as a rotten situation in which the best medical guess is that the baby is, very simply, going to die. This was true of my baby grandson. There was no Hail Mary pass to try. The only question was how many days, and how much suffering he would have to go through. Increasing the pain relief and removing the life support systems meant he got to die peacefully in his mother’s arms, surrounded by his family who adored his little five-day-old self with all our hearts. We still miss him.

    The notion that strangers are more likely to have your best interests at heart than the members of your own family is a modern novelty—bizarre by historical standards.

    In another thread it was said.

    Let’s hear it for secular post-religious societies!

    Unfortunately little Charlie being a ward the state, while having two loving parents, is a product  of secularism/post modernism.

    Kate, I am so sorry for the loss of your grandson. My condolences.

    • #10
  11. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Kate Braestrup (View Comment):
    “What if the reverse were true? And the parents wanted no treatment [for a treatable condition.]”

    It is reasonable for a society to assume that, all other things being equal, a child’s best interest is in remaining alive. It’s not always true, but it’s true enough often enough to make life the default ethic. It should also be the default ethic that when life or death decisions re being made, people who know and love you shall decide for you. In this case, both default ethics support Charlie’s parents.

    “Medical Science, not emotion, needs to best protect Charlie’s interests.” But what if medical science isn’t sure? It seems that “Medical Science” is not monolithic in this situation. As a neurologist in an ICU explained to me just recently, when the patient is a young person, we tend to go for the Hail Mary pass. Rightly so.

    There is such a thing as a rotten situation in which the best medical guess is that the baby is, very simply, going to die. This was true of my baby grandson. There was no Hail Mary pass to try. The only question was how many days, and how much suffering he would have to go through. Increasing the pain relief and removing the life support systems meant he got to die peacefully in his mother’s arms, surrounded by his family who adored his little five-day-old self with all our hearts. We still miss him.

    The notion that strangers are more likely to have your best interests at heart than the members of your own family is a modern novelty—bizarre by historical standards.

    Kate,

    In Jewish theology, oddly enough, there is sort of a trinity of evil. The Yetzer Hara (the evil inclination) tempts you to sin. The Satan (Gd’s prosecutorial angel in the heavenly court) convicts you of the sin. The Angel of Death (needs no introduction) then comes to collect your life. This is not a dream team but a nightmare team. If you are going to argue for the defense in the Heavenly High Court against the Satan you’d better have the right stuff.

    Kate, you’ve got the right stuff. Excellent.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #11
  12. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    The Satan (Gd’s prosecutorial angel in the heavenly court) convicts you of the sin.

    The Satan is sort of like a French juge d’instruction and a prosecutor all in one. There are some who would have it that the Yetzer and the Satan are one and the same, which adds a sort of the secret policeman function in there too.

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    If you are going to argue for the defense in the Heavenly High Court against the Satan you’d better have the right stuff.

    You mean like the Kedushas Levi? He makes Dan’l Webster look puny.

    • #12
  13. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    To all,

    The Hospital claims there is no chance for success. They expect Charlie’s parents to somehow prove that the treatment will work an impossibly high standard. Take a look at this video. There is a chance of success.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #13
  14. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    To all,

    The Hospital claims there is no chance for success. They expect Charlie’s parents to somehow prove that the treatment will work an impossibly high standard. Take a look at this video. There is a chance of success.

    Regards,

    Jim

    It shouldn’t matter whether or not there is a chance of success, the resources are there, the people controlling the resources are willing; this is about control.

    and it is evil.

    • #14
  15. Israel P. Member
    Israel P.
    @IsraelP

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    J’suis Charlie

    Je suis Terry Schiavo.

    • #15
  16. Hypatia Member
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    This case and the Michelle Carter case have focused my attention on the way we regard human life–in a way the abortion issue never did.

    In the USSCt  Cruzan case, and the Schiavo case, the question was whether these now-incompetent individuals would have wanted life support terminated.  A  question of individual autonomy.

    In the case of an infant who  has never been mentally competent, the infant’s wishes are not  at issue.   The parents may not have the right to choose death–even if they believe they are releasing the child to an eternity of bliss. (Remember the “little lambs” of Jonestown and Waco?)  But few would argue they don’t have the right, even the moral duty, to choose life.

    The Carter case exposes the relatively new ambivalence .  The boy’s suicide death was regarded as an unmitigated evil by his parents, who wanted to hold his sociopathic girlfriend legally responsible. (In my opinion, her conviction would probably be overturned, according to traditional principles of criminal responsibility, if she appeals .)   There used to be a consensus that a young healthy person who considered suicide was sick and in need of rescue.  But no more.  The ACLU sees the issue as one of individual autonomy.  In Belgium, depressed young adults may qualify for medically-assisted suicide.

    I’ve read that in the Nazi death camps, guards were instructed not to intervene if a prisoner was attempting suicide, because that was the only human right they had left.

    If we no longer agree that Carter’s boyfriend’s suicide was wrong or was a manifestation of illness

    then how can we determine whether her encouragement of that act was wrong ?

    This ambivalence may have been an inevitable consequence of the length,  and quality, of life increasing so dramatically for so many people.  Anything that becomes more abundant becomes less precious.

    Now we have more control over the lengths of our lives, even over the course of illnesses which formerly would have been a peremptory death sentence–

    who would have thought that at this juncture, we’d be expending so much energy debating the value of human life itself?

     

    • #16
  17. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Life is of infinite value because we are image bearers of God.

    When a culture no longer takes the idea that there is a God seriously . Then life becomes a commodity and the state sets the price. Slippery slope indeed.

    • #17
  18. Jules PA Member
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    Where is our humanity? Where is our wisdom?

    Whattayamean “our”?

    “We” aren’t the ones making this ruling. I accept zero responsibility for the decisions made by the NHS administrators or Mr. Justice Francis in this case.

    I’m with you Misthiocracy. So many of us still embrace humanity, but we suffer the consequences of those who don’t.

    It seems anymore being alive is left to a vote, mob rule. Prove your relevance, or die.

    Who knew we’ve been moving toward Ultimate Survivor, where judges and citizens place themselves as little Caesars, showing the lifegiving thumbs up or life taking thumbs down to an infant.

    When judges and citizens have no vision of eternal accountability, and no hope, I guess it’s all just a Craps game.

    Snakes eyes…

     

    • #18
  19. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    If we no longer agree that Carter’s boyfriend’s suicide was wrong or was a manifestation of illness

    then how can we determine whether her encouragement of that act was wrong ?

    Hypatia,

    You get to the very core of it. We are rushing forward in technology but falling backward in our most fundamental ethical foundation. We need to reverse this trend and soon. I believe there is such a thing as moral freefall. Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, these were societies who had strong ethical foundations that served well for centuries but when they cracked complete ethical collapse resulted in a totalitarian nightmare. The cases you bring up should serve as early warning alarms.

    Excellent.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #19
  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Some friends of ours recently had to take their teenage daughter for a skin biopsy. During the intake, the nurse asked our friends to leave the room so she could survey their teenager about suicide. She was very apologetic and explained that teen suicide has become such a problem, they’re now required to ask these questions, and that teens give more honest answers when their parents aren’t in the room.

    So my friends and I were discussing what’s happening to our teens and why it might be they’re more disposed to suicide than ever before, despite living in times of relative peace and prosperity. My speculation is taken from my recent reading of Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. I think people lack meaning and purpose in their lives. They’ve been convinced that life is about seeking pleasure and avoiding suffering and find themselves psychologically frail, either when they’re bored by what was formerly pleasurable (how many video games can sustain you over a lifetime?) or when they encounter even the mildest form of suffering (getting dumped by your boyfriend of two months).

    On the other hand, people with a sense of purpose can tolerate a lot — even the depredation of imprisonment in Auschwitz — and come out the other side with hope and happiness. I don’t think you have to have (good) religion to have meaning, but it certainly helps most people and has supporting evidence over a long duration to show it.

    CCC: 1 God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church.

    And I firmly believe the experience of respect for life and dignity of persons enjoyed in the West is solidly grounded in the Judeo-Christian belief that man is created in the Creator’s image and likeness. Secularists are living off the sap of the dying tree of their Judeo-Christian western heritage. Once it’s gone, no one will be safe. It’s all will to power at that point.

    • #20
  21. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    MAJOR UPDATE ON CHARLIE GARD’S CONDITION: MUST READ!!! MUST READ!!!

    Eight Myths Debunked: Parents of Baby Charlie Gard Set Record Straight on Son’s Health

    – Myth 1 – Charlie is in pain and is suffering –
    Response: “There is no clear medical evidence that Charlie is in pain. The Supreme Court stated that they were not certain Charlie was/is in pain. What we do know is that he has been stable throughout, his vital signs are stable, his heartbeat is normal which is a recognised sign that there is no significant pain.

    “Charlie was not on pain controlling medication for the first 8 months at GOSH, including before and during the High Court hearing. Simply put there is no proof he is in pain, and the facts suggest otherwise.”

     

    – Myth 2 – His parents are unnecessarily prolonging his pain and suffering –
    Response: “The proposed treatment is non-invasive, it is administered via his milk. If there is no proof he is in pain – see above – then to say his parents are prolonging his pain and suffering is wrong – they are working to improve his life. They are seeking treatment that is intended to make him (much) better off.

    “Charlie’s parents are only proposing a 3 month trial period for the treatment to be administered, after which it would be clear to see if he responds to treatment.

    “What does increase possible suffering is the legal limbo, where the authorities have refused the possible treatment while they fight Charlie’s parents through the courts.”

     

    – Myth 3 – His quality of life will not, and cannot, improve –
    Response: “If the treatment works, and there is chance one in ten, then his quality of life will be improved significantly. Who is to judge that his potential improved quality of life would not be good enough to allow him to live! Such logic would open the floodgates to sentencing all the terminally ill, the disabled, the mentally disturbed, the sufferers of diseases without cure (such as diabetes, and many cancers) to death, and legal withholding of treatment.

    “This is not, and cannot, be the norm. Quality of life is relative. Ultimately, we cannot all have the same quality of life, but we cannot also judge that a life less enjoyable than what we deem acceptable, should simply be terminated.”

     

    – Myth 4 – Charlie is severely/catastrophically/irreparably/irreversibly brain damaged –
    Response: “This has not been proven nor is it the conclusion of the MRI or EEGs that have been prepared for Charlie. Furthermore, there is no proof that he is suffering from such alleged severe brain damage. Charlie is not brain dead. The doctors willing to treat him would not have accepted to treat him if he were brain dead. They were clear on that.

    “If the proposed treatment works as expected the result will be to will assist the repair of damaged cells. Charlie will not be a vegetable, he will be able to move, to respond and to interact.

    “Brain damage is not a legitimate reason for seeking the termination of life, doctors fight to save patients with brain damage on a daily basis. Charlie’s is not severe, nor irreversible, and since there is a significant chance that it can be improved, means we cannot legally or morally deny him that opportunity.”

     

    – Myth 5 – Charlie is blind and he cannot open his eyes –
    Response: “Charlie opens his eyes on a daily basis. He had his eyes open the whole time his parents were permitted to take him to the roof of GOSH for a picnic, in June.”

     

    – Myth 6 – Charlie, and his parents, are blocking a badly needed hospital bed –
    Response: “The NICU where Charlie is currently lying, has, at least, 2-3 available beds on a daily basis. Children are not being refused access because he is there. Charlie’s parents DO NOT WANT TO KEEP HIM THERE, they have offered to privately pay for him to receive treatment, but the hospital refuses to cooperate with a release. It is the hospital which is preventing the freeing up of his bed, unnecessarily to the ultimate detriment of their patients.

     

    – Myth 7 – Charlie’s parents won’t be able to care, or cope –
    Response: “Charlie’s mum is a qualified, experienced carer, and she is best placed to care for her son. His parents are devoted, and have given up their lives to fight for Charlie, they are fully able to cope, and have done so admirably for the past 8 months.”

     

    – Myth 8- The treatment is experimental –
    Response: “The treatment is, in fact, supported by 5 researchers, and 2 treating doctors (clinicians). There is a growing body of medical support.

    “There is also ethical support, as set out in the published Lancet article, written by Prof Julian Suvalescu of Oxford University.”

    The Great Ormond Street Hospital and the EU Court are full of it!!! The High Court, if it hasn’t gone insane also, should rule in Charlie’s favor. They go to the hearing Thursday. The possible ruling Friday. May Gd bless Charlie & his Parents.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #21
  22. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Israel P. (View Comment):

    Jules PA (View Comment):
    J’suis Charlie

    Je suis Terry Schiavo.

    Terry Schiavo is a poor example.

    Xray records which were not released until after her death showed that her brain was utterly withered away, a finding that was confirmed at autopsy.  Her case was indeed hopeless.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/16/us/schiavo-autopsy-says-brain-withered-was-untreatable.html

    Je suis Charlie.  May God bless him and his family.

    • #22

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