Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The State Doesn't Own Your Child

Charlie Gard's parent ceased their legal battle to take their son out of the UK for experimental treatment. In their statement to the press, they said that there may have been time to help their son, but the drawn out court battle took too much time to even try. The father expressed how the "What if?" questions will haunt them forever.

Some people try to be the "voice of reason" and "talk sense" into the parents. "Your son can't be saved!" they say "So stop fighting! Do the humane thing and let him die."

But that's not the point.

(Not a photo of Charlie - just a stock photo)
As a parent, you have a few jobs. Feed your child, keep them warm and clothed, keep them sheltered, and protect them. The child is 100% reliant on their parent(s). And as a parent, you feel the weight of that responsibility. In addition, you have this intense love for your child. You want to provide for and protect them at all costs.

In this case, even if the experimental treatment would have been a waste of time and unsuccessful, trying the treatment would have at least given Charlie's parents a peace of mind that they did everything in their power to save their child. If Charlie was supposedly doomed anyway, why not let the parents try an unproven treatment? They had doctors look at Charlie's records and express that they might be able to help.

But the state stopped them, claiming it was in the best interest of Charlie.

So who gets to decide?

If you think it is okay for the government to make this decision for Charlie's parents, what other decisions will they try to make as it relates to your parenting?

Standing behind the government to make this decision gives the state precedence and boldness to make more decisions for other parents. The more the public allows, the more leeway the government has and the more bold the state becomes.

Who owns your child?

I would argue that nobody "owns" them. But they are placed in the care of the parents, not the state, and we should respect that parent as the caregiver of their child.

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