Now that the dust is beginning to settle, perhaps one can at last talk some sense about the Charlie Gard case. There has been something almost surreal or absurd about the events.
Surreal, in the sense that so much solicitude was being shown for a child by all accounts with little or no chance of life, when all around him thousands of the unborn sons and daughters of other parents are being consigned to the incinerator.
Absurd because the language generally employed about Charlie was tragically inappropriate. The boy’s father described him as a ‘brave little warrior’; he was said in the newspapers to be ‘struggling with….’ or ‘striving to overcome…’ ;
The Telegraph opined that he had ‘lost the battle.’
But such was not the case. Charlie was not fighting, he was not struggling. He was to all intents and purposes inert. Doctors were fairly certain that he could feel no pain, so how could he be said to endure heroically? There was no conscious struggle, because there was no consciousness.
Absurd, too, when it emerged that the American doctor who offered an untested remedy to save Charlie, had not even sought medical information from Great Ormond Street.
And how strange that two conflicting public figures – the Pope and the President of the United States – should compete in offering help.
But there was irony even there, too. Trump was meanwhile unable either to dismantle or replace Obamacare, and Bergoglio was dealing with evidence of the embezzlement of funds from the very hospital he had offered to the boy.
Everything about Charlie Gard seems to be puzzling or problematical, except for his parents’ unconditional commitment to him and to life. Praise God for that.