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Trump Offers to Help Charlie Gard, Who Is He?

by Countable | 7.3.17

What’s the story? President Donald Trump tweeted an offer to help Charlie Gard, a brain-damaged British baby on life support whose parents’ attempt to bring him to the U.S. for experimental therapy has been blocked by the National Health Service (NHS), along with British and European Courts on Monday morning.

What’s happening? Charlie Gard was born with a rare genetic condition known as mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome that severely affects his brain, muscle, and breathing ability. His parents want to bring him to the U.S. for experimental treatment. Doctors with the NHS — Britain’s universal healthcare provider — want to take him off life support because "the experimental treatment, which is not designed to be curative, would not improve Charlie’s quality of life.".

Charlie’s parents appealed to the British courts for permission to bring their child to the U.S. for treatment, but were denied. Then they appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, which affirmed last Tuesday that the hospital has the right to take him off life support because he was "being exposed to continued pain, suffering and distress" and that receiving the therapy with “no prospects of success… would offer no benefit.”

Gard’s parents have successfully fundraised all that they need to fly Charlie to America and pay for the treatment through a GoFundMe account, which has more than 83,000 donors. Charlie’s situation has also attracted the attention of Pope Francis, who issued a statement Sunday saying he expresses his "closeness" to Charlie’s parents, and that “he prays for them, wishing that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end will be respected.”

What can you do about it: As Americans, there is little we can do directly in this situation other than hope the best for Charlie and parents. The situation does raise questions that could factor into the ongoing debate over healthcare in the U.S., so ask yourself this question and share your answers with your representatives: Should hospitals and the government (through the courts) interfere with parents seeking or continuing treatment for their children?

Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Charlie Gard - GoFundMe)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(258)
  • JaredThePoet
    07/04/2017
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    Honestly, I don't know much about this story. I will say that Trump's purpose in stating his "help" in a tweet could be double-sided. Think of it this way: 1. It makes him look good as a PR stunt. 2. It makes single payer (universal healthcare) look bad, which is excellent timing with the US discussion of healthcare and the majority of Americans favoring single payer. So, with those two issues in mind, I find this tweet, well-timed and harmful. I do believe that the courts shouldn't get involved if this family wants to seek international assistance or medical care, that's not their place. The family should be allowed to any avenues that they please. To Trump, I say, "Nice sentiment, but where's the heart?". Plenty of Americans using Medicaid that are in awful situations like this here at home, and you wanna scratch that...so where's the heart in our healthcare? Where's the sentiment for the people of our country?

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  • Azrael
    07/04/2017
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    Horrible situation for parents May they be granted guidance This is a photo op for trump If it wasn't he'd never let 22 million of our own mostly women and children lose their health care

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  • Andrew
    07/04/2017
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    This is stupid. No matter what health system this kid is in, doctors would recommend the same course of action. Gross PR stunt by our gross president.

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  • Larry
    07/04/2017
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    While he is working to kill the old and poor in this country.

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  • Patricia
    07/04/2017
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    Looks like another Trump play . The news was that Charlie Gard was in the position that was beyond medical help . Took advantage of another person's grief for your own political gain . Don't believe it worked ! Americans are sick of your threats to leave over 22 million people without healthcare . Donald Trump you and your greedy administration can go straight to Hell .

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  • Jsb16
    07/04/2017
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    Where was Trump's alleged compassion when his Muslim ban endangered infants coming to the US? Where is his alleged compassion for the disabled children in the US who will die because of his party's healthcare shenanigans? This treatment probably won't even help the poor baby...

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  • Nancy
    07/04/2017
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    The President might help this baby, but don't lose sight of his malignant narcissism. It's possible that he'll somehow exploit this. That being said, it's important to understand the baby's condition too.

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  • Janet
    07/04/2017
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    Hard to believe that Trump can have some compassion. This doesn't help our own Americans who need health care. I don't think foreigners should be denied the chance at seeing doctors in our country if they desire to and can afford it. The ban stopped some parents from being able to bring their baby here for medical reasons.....

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  • SouthernGal
    07/04/2017
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    I am not understanding the wish to prolong this infant's pain & suffering. Yes, it is heartbreaking, but this child is undergoing a lot of pain with machines controlling his/her life. This, unfortunately, looks like a PR exercise for the GOP as a suck up to the evangelical right.

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  • Marc
    07/04/2017
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    My opinion is that we should not meddle in other country's situations whether like this or of some other nature. If trump wanted to do something good, he could tour the United States of America and find parents and children who have no clear answer to health problems with their kids, parents, themselves or other family members because they have been screwed by the government not stepping up to help them with extreme health situations. Maybe that might open his fuckin eyes to extreme problems Americans are facing

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  • Benjamin
    07/04/2017
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    This is posturing. If he really cares about healthcare, do not pass ACA repeal.

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  • Melanie
    07/04/2017
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    I am a pediatric oncologist and I have seen a baby die of a mitochondrial DNA deletion syndrome known as Pearson Syndrome. My colleagues tried everything known to save this baby's life to no avail. At some point, the baby's quality of life must come into play. This is not an uncommon conversation. If I were an infant who was going to die, would it be better for me to die in intensive care, with monitors, drips and separated from my mommy and daddy or would it be better if mommy and daddy were holding me, loving on me and promising we would meet again. Babies' capacity to comprehend is limited but they do need loving touch, soothing words, and symptom management. DJT's offer indicated he understands these types of diseases about as well as he understands the insane health care bill. He is grandstanding and preening for his base. He is a first class jerk. He would bring this baby here for trials that all medicine says will not deliver the results the Gards want. The infant will die here and his parents will be alone. For those of you who are yapping about "Death Panels", talk to God. If DJT is hell bent on helping, more money for research is appropriate.

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  • Elizabeth
    07/04/2017
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    I've seen several people try to turn this into a condemnation of socialized medicine. It's not. The uk government is not denying this baby coverage and health care. Instead, this is an issue of parental rights and what is in the best interests of the child. These types of issues come up in the US, too. It's why we have a guardian ad litem system. Parents are not generally allowed to do whatever they want to their children. There are limits. Where those limits should be is a matter for debate, but the debate here is not who should pay for healthcare, but whether it is ethically the right thing for this baby.

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  • C
    07/04/2017
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    Hey Trump, I have an idea: stop clamouring for attention with this poor British family's horrendous healthcare nightmare and at least pretend to care about those of the people of the nation you claim to represent, a percentage of which were stupid enough to vote for you. IMPEACH THE 🍊🔥ORANGE MENACE🍊🔥. LOCK HIM UP! Lock them all up. Please?

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  • Michele
    07/04/2017
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    My heart breaks for these parents and I wish Trump were out of the equation. He never misses a photo op or an opportunity to make others (British Universal Health) look bad. He shows zero compassion for American children like Charlie or their expensive treatments and pre-existing conditions, like Charlie has. It's unconscionable that Trump is so "upset" while contemplating causing millions of us to lose our healthcare.

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  • denali
    07/04/2017
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    PR stunt for 45. This is a tragic situation. Our country should not be involved in this situation. Bless that family.

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  • Jack
    07/04/2017
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    23 million will lose coverage under Trumpcare and some of them will die because of it. At the same time there are a million Syrian refugees who need our help or many them will die too. While I'm very sad for this family and their impossible situation, a little triage might be a good thing; how about we focus on the people whose lives we can actually save?

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  • Duane
    07/04/2017
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    How about helping the people in the US by not taking away healthcare from the poor and the elderly. Oh taking away women's health but not wanting to pay for maternity coverage or any care for the US little children. Single Payer for all.

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  • James
    07/04/2017
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    Frankly, I don't care what Trump does with his own money but if he expects US Taxpayers to pay for his meddling in the affairs of the U.K. he has another think/g coming. This is NOT our business. It is between the couple and the NHS/UK government.

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  • Brad
    07/04/2017
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    What a heartbreaking story. The United States should offer this child and his parents all the help they can give them which sounds like it’s being done. For all those of you who don’t know this, over his lifetime Donald Trump, now President Trump has done some amazing things to help dozens of individuals without a bit of fanfare. Trump never bragged about any of his good deeds and didn’t do so during the run up to his Presidency as that’s not the kind of guy he is. For all you people out their who have listened to the mainstream media bash this man night after night 24/7......Believing everything you are being told from the deceitful media, you are being conned! In turn many of you started bashing Trump yourself, but you simply do not know all the facts about this man, Donald Trump. Get off the Liberal Media’s talking points people, i.e. Trumps Tweets, Russia, ext, ext....and instead research all the great things Trump has done for the country since becoming President including this kid from Europe who’s trying to enter the USA for experimental treatment. If you open your eyes a bit and stop believing everything the national liberal media & Dems tell you you’ll realize you’re being conned into what to believe & thinking one way...to hate Trump. The Politicians including many Republicans fear Trump as they know he will expose them for what they are and bring down the club the politicians have been running behind our backs to benefit them, not us. The media is knee deep in it also. We sent Trump to Washington to shake things up because Washington is broken and the Dems, some Republicans, and media are doing all they can to stop Trump from changing the business as usual mentality in Washington. If you want a government that starts worrying more about the American people than themselves then let Trump do the job he was sent to Washington to do. He’s absulutly not for just the rich.....He’s out to help Americans in general. This country has given him so much and now he see’s it as his turn to give back. You can either continue to believe to bull the media is feeding you or start researching things on your own from multiple sources to get the real stories. The national media’s agenda is to destroy Trump at all cost. Shouldn’t we be rooting for our President during his four years in office?? We are all Americans and we are all in this together. Wake up people the media has made you Trump hating robots. We weren’t born to hate....rather someone thought us to hate, and in this case it’s clearly the media first and foremost along with the Dems and some Republicans.

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