The Vatican and Trump take action to give hope to Charlie

The Vatican and Trump take action to give hope to Charlie

Domenico Agasso Jr/ Vatican City

The US offers an experimental treatment and the Vatican pediatric Hospital to transfer Charlie Gard to its facilities.

The Vatican and Donald Trump offer their support to little Charlie. The Holy See and the President of the United States yesterday announced their willingness to help the 10-month-old child affected by a terminal illness, for whom doctors, in the London hospital where he is hospitalized, have decided stop life-sustaining treatment, judging it unnecessary. A decision also endorsed by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which rejected the parents’ plea to take their son to the US for experimental therapy - at their own expense covered by funds raised through an online crowdfunding.

A tweet came from the White House: “If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.” A spokesperson later stated that Trump did not talk to the child’s family because he did not want to pressure them; members of the administration had spoken to the family in calls facilitated by the British government. No comments from the British Prime Minister Theresa May, who has just said, “All of our thoughts are with Charlie and his family.” Behind this initiative in Washington, there would be the availability of American doctors to attempt an experimental treatment free of charge, and that an unspecified hospital would take him in. News that is likely to please Chris Gard and Connie Yates, the little boy’s parents, who are alongside him in his last few days as the doctors granted an unexpected extension last Friday, after repeated requests and concerns of the family to wait to unplug the machines that keep the child alive.

Meanwhile, from Rome, Mariella Enoc, president of the Jesuit Childhood Hospital, owned by the Holy See, has offered concrete help: “I have asked the health director to check with the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where the neonate is recovered, if there are sanitary conditions for an eventual transfer of Charlie to our hospital. We know that the case is desperate and that, until now, there are no effective therapies,” Then Enoc adds, “We express our closeness to parents in prayer and, if this is their desire, we are available to welcome their child with us, for as long as he lives.”

This transfer proposal comes the day after the Pontiff’s appeal for Charlie to care for him until the end of his days. Enoch states: to defend “human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all. The words of the Holy Father well summarize the mission of the Child Jesus Hospital.” Yesterday, also Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the Vatican institute dealing with these issues said, “Pulling the plug on a sick person is something that makes me shudder” And “it is horrible that courts decide on a person’s life.”

Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin spoke about the possibility that Charlie will be transferred to Italy. “This is an assessment of the doctors and the family,” but if he does arrive, “we will provide the necessary support”.

Tue, 07/04/2017 - 14:31
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