“My Body, My Choice” Takes a Heartbreaking Turn


Monday, July 3, 2017

The European Court on Human Rights has ruled that 10-month old Charlie Gard must die.

Charlie’s story has struck an emotional chord in the hearts of people all over the world. Many are asking how, in a “civilized society,” anyone could sentence an infant to “die with dignity” and how the right to be a parent is trumped by a bureaucratic panel who thinks they know better.

Unfortunately, the idea that man can play God isn’t foreign or even new. Since the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down, there has been an extreme shift in popular perception regarding acceptance of abortion and euthanasia. Using these origins, it shouldn’t be difficult to prove how disregard for human life at conception could lead to the belief that “death with dignity” should also be applied to a 10-month old.

For those who aren’t aware of Charlie Gard’s story: Charlie is a ten-month old from Bedford, England. Charlie was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease with only sixteen , currently known cases worldwide. The nature of Charlie’s illness is degenerative and is ultimately fatal after tremendous suffering.

Charlie’s parents raised $1.6 million through donations to move Charlie to the United States in the hopes of undergoing a successful experimental treatment for his illness. However, under European law, Great Ormond Street Hospital(GOSH) moved to bar the parents from moving Charlie because it would be too stressful for Charlie and the parents didn’t have Charlie’s best interests in mind. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Charlie had the “human right to die with dignity”regardless of his parents’ wishes.

Yes, you read that correctly. A court designated to uphold human rights decided that it was in a 10-month old’s best interest to die. I’ll give you a moment to digest that logic.

This ruling is the result of the overall degradation of human life across all of civilized society. In Europe, there are laws in place that allow people to ‘die with dignity,’ but apparently none that allow parents to keep their child alive.

It’s important to note here a popular quote by Andrew Breitbart, “Politics is downstream from culture.” Lawmakers didn’t just wake up one morning and decide that abortion and euthanasia are the best way to navigate situations like Charlie’s. The gradual decline of the importance of human life in society has led us to believe that socialized health care and wealth redistribution are moral policies.

When the health care of individuals is managed by the state, it is managed by no one person in particular. Socialized health care allows a bureaucratic panel to hand down death sentences because there is no one person with an individual’s best interest in mind. It even allows the state to declare that “death with dignity” is not only a good idea, but that it is a human right that exists without any moral or legal ramifications.

Whether or not the pro-abortion proponents holding the “My Body, My Choice” signs at Planned Parenthood rallies believe that abortion is a life being extinguished is irrelevant here. Charlie was born and has been alive for ten months. Given his condition, Charlie was doing as well as expected, but his parents wanted an opportunity to prolong their time with him.

But how is this any different than a baby born in the United States who has a genetic disease or terminal cancer? It’s not. This is why the silence from the left is particularly deafening.

The left screams “My Body, My Choice,” but routinely declares that people will dies by the thousands if government sponsored programs are cut. They repeat these mantras, but seem to be oblivious to the fact that your body is no longer your choice once the government makes decisions regarding healthcare. The left seems willing to destroy the family at the expense of the individual in the name of tolerance and compassion.

An abundance of tolerance and compassion has lead to the need to accommodate at every turn, particularly in litigation. I suspect that this led to the collapse in social conservatism in the family nucleus.

Until recently, conservative were hell bent that the family was one man and one woman and that the family was the bedrock that our society was built on. To some extent, we still are, but few conservatives are willing to say that gay couples shouldn’t adopt children because it makes a mockery of the family.

Our need to accommodate has robbed us of the ability to teach our children that things like religious liberty and life itself are items of inherent value. But where does this need stem from?

This ideology of compassion is aided by leaders in supposedly conservative social circles preaching the idea of actions without consequence. This is most evident in churches where pastors or priests wish to welcome people who are homosexuals or divorcees ‘with open arms.’

If anything could parallel abortion insofar as it utterly destroys a family, it is divorce. Divorce, not unlike abortion, allows an easy-out for people to destroy the family while setting a horrible standard for what a family should be for any children involved.

There was a time in American society where the idea of divorce was rejected solely on the principle of religion. Now, our religious leaders tell us to welcome these sinners with tolerance, apparently absolving their transgressions with compassion. The idea of creating lasting policy with compassion is what will destroy modern society.

Actions without consequence is the full manifestation of abortion. It tells the father and mother alike that they are absolved from their responsibilities and, in some cases, have acted out of compassion because they weren’t ready to be parents anyway. They acted chivalrously by ducking a responsibility they accepted when they had sex. Abortion is boiled down to a case of an unwanted pregnancy, a fetus with a birth defect, or a clump of cells that we ‘just weren’t ready for.’ This base devaluing of human life is what allows us to rationalize decisions like the one handed down in the UK.

Charlie Gard’s case is a direct example of the road we are headed down as an American society. We live in a country where ‘Abortion on demand, without apology’ is considered a legitimate argument, but principles such as ‘Sex should wait until marriage’ is something to be viewed as an item in a museum exhibit.

The idea that we can play God with acts like abortion or euthanasia is the exact road that leads us to a barbaric situation like Charlie Gard’s.

It’s the sheer arrogance of politicians who think that policies enacting socialized medicine can and should be used to kill those they deem not worthy, all the while claiming that they are preserving human dignity. It’s the wanting arrogance of society that allows a promiscuous culture that demands no consequences by saying things like ‘Abortion on demand, with no apologies,’ and it’s the blind arrogance of man that makes him believe he can play God and decide who lives and who dies. We as a society must realize that it’s not about who’s body, or whose choice, but rather a human life.

Human life, no matter how fragile, should be cherished from conception until natural death. As a civilized society, we should work towards repairing the family instead of destroying it. Charlie Gard should be a heartbreaking warning to all of what happens when ‘My Body, My Choice’ is no longer an option.




Photo Credit: Alec Perkins

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About Stephen Thompson

Stephen is a born and raised conservative from Memphis, TN. Brought up in a strict Catholic family, the idea that you should hold yourself accountable to a set of principles and standards was instilled from an early age. He aims to bring an ardent defense of the conservative ideology with a focus on the social and Pro-Life issues.

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