I’m not sure why Charlotte Wyatt’s case is truly as unique as pro-life people contend it to be, but I’m shocked that yet again a judge is deciding that parents, who now are also the person’s guardians, cannot decide to keep someone alive. I get the vague feeling that it is not so unusual here for doctors to decide that keeping a person alive will not do the person any good, and hence to terminate treatment. However, it would indeed seem quite strange that they pursue their idea even against the parents’ will. From what I know, parents here may be pressured to agree to terminate treatment, but I’ve not heard of legitimate cases of euthanasia where the parents did not consent.
This writer blames this ruling on the social healthcare system, where the government can decide what health policy will be followed. And it’s indeed possible for the government to make extensive healthcare policies if healthcare is a public good, as it is here, too. However, it goes a little too far, in my view, to say that the public health system causes it to be possible that seriously ill children are killed. After all, in private healthcare, the doctors in private hospitals could make the same decisions the doctors in St. Mary’s Hospital have made, and if the law was on their side, judges would approve of their practices. I’m a great supporter of public healthcare systems, for they allow healthcare to be affordable to everyone, and as a result everyone has the possibility of good healthcare. And they’re always the government people who make the laws, and if the law isn’t on the doctors’ side, no judge will approve of their practices. No euthanasia could be performed legally before the bill allowing it was passed in 2002, and this sort of law is applicable to both the public healthcare system and private hospitals.
A person might argue that if healthcare costs the government too much, they’ll allow these practices, but that goes much too far. Rather, public health services will likely be cut, as is being done here. You’re a little too dogmatic and naive if you believe that public healthcare allows the government to introduce an euthanasia programme of sorts (for that’s what it’s going to be if you take this logic to extremes) more quickly than private healthcare.
Still, I need not say that I disagree with the judge’s ruling. The child has lung disease, has vision and hearing loss, and has a heart problem. I know many adults who do. She hasn’t stopped breathing yet, apparently, for otherwise she would’ve been dead by now. And yet a doctor is already deciding that if she stops breathing, they’re not going to resuscitate. Because now she is too ill??? Makes no sense to me. You could say, once she indeed has stopped breathing, that resuscitating won’t help her, but to decide for someone that she is apparently not too disabled to withdraw treatment now, but is too disabled to keep alive, is quite strange. But well, here there are some official policies on that. As you may know, preemies born before 25 weeks gestation are almost never treated. Charlotte would be, according to the rigid standards, since she was born at 26 weeks. And if the parents insisted they wanted to keep their daughter alive, I wouldn’t know if the doctors would fight legal battles. But it wouldn’t surprise me if they did, but that simply no parent has yet disagreed with the doctors’ decisions, since with the preemie guidelines, doctors just told parents that their babies are still too young to be treated, and one was afraid that, when Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam established slightly different standards, that parents might insist the babies be brought there, cause there they will be treated. I think doctors here would easily do what the doctors in Britain are fighting to be allowed to do.