Little Charlie Gard: Victim of Rampant Disposable Culture – Cardinal Sgreccia

TLittle Charlie Gard’s Case in 10 Points, by Cardinal Sgreccia
Give Care Even When One Cannot Cure
July 5, 2017
ZENIT Staff Pope & Holy See

CHARLIE GARD
by Constance Roques with Anita Bourdin

Italian Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, former President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, analyzed little Charlie Gard’s case and offered “10 critical points” for consideration in the Italian daily La Stampa, on Monday, July 3, 2017.

We recall that Charlie Gard was born on August 4, 2016 and suffers from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which has affected his brain. He receives assistance to breathe, is hydrated and fed through a tube, but receives no other care.

Give Care Even when One Cannot Cure

Cardinal Sgreccia stressed first of all that “the non-curable character can never be confused with incurability” (1).

He explained: “A person affected by an ailment considered, in the present state of medicine, as incurable, is paradoxically the subject that, more than any other, has the right to request and obtain continuous assistance and care, attention and devotion: it is a cardinal principle of the ethics of care . . . The human face of medicine is manifested precisely in the clinical practice of ‘taking care’ of the life of the suffering and the sick.”
Human Dignity

Cardinal Sgreccia then affirmed the intrinsic dignity (2) of every human being and the rights that stem from it, regardless of his state of health: “The right to be continually the object, or better still, the subject of attention and care on the part of members of the family and others, lies in the dignity of a human person, including a new-born, sick and suffering, and never ceases to be possessed.”

Feeding and Hydration Are Not Therapies

He then recalled the duty to feed and hydrate (3): they are not aps of therapies but the minimum necessary to survive of every human being: “Artificial feeding-hydration through a nose-gastric tube in no case can be considered as a therapy . . . Water and food do not become medications by the sole fact that they are administered artificially; consequently, interrupting them is not like suspending a therapy, but it is to let someone die of hunger and thirst who simply cannot feed himself autonomously.

The Parents’ Decision

Cardinal Sgreccia pointed out that there must not be a caesura between the doctors’ gestures and the parents’ will (4): “The cardinal idea that founds the informed consensus is linked to the principle according to which the patient is never an anonymous individual . . . but a conscious and responsible subject . . . This implies the necessity that he be involved in the decisional processes that concern him, in a dialogic relation that avoids his finding himself in the situation of having to suffer passively the decisions and choices of others. The history of little Charlie proves on the contrary that, in the course of time, a dynamic has been created of substantial detachment between the decisions of the medical team and the will of the parents.”

An Integral Palliative Approach

Cardinal Sgreccia declared himself in favor (5) of an “integral palliative” approach: “It is possible that the experimental therapy does not give the medical results expected, but it is also true that Charlie’s sufferings call for an integral palliative and systematic approach that could hypothetically accompany the experimentation itself.”

To Keep the Pain under Control

Cardinal Sgreccia recommended (6) to keep the pain under control”: “ In our opinion, the principle of the best interest of the minor hardly entails, or better, hardly legitimizes a passive form of euthanasia as that which was decided to practice on little Charlie. We believe that his best interest lies in the direction of assuring him the most dignified existence possible, through an opportune antalgic strategy, which enables to keep the pain under control should it prove to be impossible to follow the route to access the experimental protocol already underway in the United States. It is exactly what Charlie’s parents have not ceased to request up to today.”

The Opinion of the European Court 

The Cardinal believes (7) that the European Court did not respect these criteria: ‘The European Court of Human Rights has glided in an unbelievable way on all the aspects of content listed up to here and it also seems that it went beyond, assuming a purely procedural position, in the name of the principle of the margin of appreciation … It considered that it should not enter the subject of the issue of the suspension of artificial feeding-hydration-respiration in the name of that sovereign autonomy of the Member States, which authorizes them to regulate at their discretion the themes of the ethically most complicated aspects, such as the case of the practicability or not of passive euthanasia on a new-born.”

A “Rampant Disposable Culture”

Cardinal Sgreccia lamented the “rampant disposable culture”: “Hidden behind each aspect of this story, although never mentioned, is the idea of the efficacy in the management of health resources that pushes to make use of them in a manner that cannot but generate a rampant disposable culture.”

The False Paradigm of the “Quality of Life”

He questioned (9) the “paradigm” of the so-called “quality of life”: “More disquieting yet is the lightness with which the paradigm of quality of life is accepted, namely, that cultural model that inclines to recognize the non-dignity of certain human existences, completely identified and confused with the pathology of which they are bearers or with the sufferings with which they are accompanied.”

Euthanasia Demanded 

Finally, Cardinal Sgreccia lamented (10) a drift toward a trivialized euthanasia: “In the transparency of schizophrenic positions implied by these new cultural paradigms, one can perceive the ambivalence of those that, in demanding the freedom of total and indiscriminate access to euthanasia – basing it on the exclusive predominance of individual autonomy — deny at the same time this decisional autonomy in other cases, as the one of which we speak, where it is considered that only the doctors have the legitimacy to decide, without any involvement of the parents.”

Readiness of the Vatican’s Hospital

We recall likewise that on Monday, July 3, the President of the Bambino Gesu (Infant Jesus) pediatric hospital, a dependency of the Vatican, Mrs Mariella Enoc, said she was ready to receive Charlie Gard in Rome if his parents so wished and if his state permitted it.

In a press release on Monday, July 3, 2017, she quoted in Italian Pope Francis’ Tweet, posted on his account @Pontifex_it on June 30: “Defend human life, especially when it is wounded by sickness, is a commitment of love that God entrusts to every man.”

“The Holy Father’s words, in reference to little Charlie, summarize well the mission of the Bambino Gesu hospital. That is why I asked the Health Director to verify with London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, where the new-born is hospitalized, and if the health conditions exist for Charlie’s eventual transfer to our hospital. We know that the case is desperate and that, apparently, effective therapies do not exist.”

Pope Francis’ Closeness

Mrs Enoc expressed her closeness to the parents, saying: “We are close to the parents through prayer and if it is their wish, we are ready to receive their child at our hospital for the time that remains to him to live.”

Pope Francis addressed a message to Charlie Gard’s parents on Sunday evening, July 2, expressing his closeness, through his spokesman, Greg Burke: “The Holy Father follows with affection and emotion the affair of little Charlie Gard and he expresses his closeness to his parents.” Pope Francis, he said, “prays for them and hopes that their desire to accompany and care for their child to the end is not disregarded.”

On June 27, the European Court of Human Rights rejected the request to take the child to the United States for experimental treatment and the British High Court pronounced itself in favor of halting the respiratory, hydration and feeding assistance.

Mrs Mariella Enoc, President of Rome’s Bambino Gesu hospital, who had expressed her readiness to receive the baby, if his transfer was possible and if his parents so wished, announced on Tuesday, July 4 that the transfer would not be possible for “legal” reasons: it is in any case the answer of the English hospital where Charlie is at present, reported Vatican Radio. Mrs Enoc said she was contacted by the baby’s mother to discuss his care.
In regard to surmounting the legal reasons, the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin assured : “If we can do so, we will,” reported the same source.
[Article Translated from French]  Source – Zenit

Comment:

The UK Government cites “legal grounds” for not permitting this baby to be taken to the Vatican Hospital – click here

Recall,  though, that the “legal grounds” for only permitting people of opposite genders to marry were overturned in a heartbeat, as was the law prohibiting the murder of unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs.  Laws can be changed when it suits politicians.  What, then, is going on here? Why are the doctors and politicians so keen to allow this baby to die, despite his parents’ desperate desire to keep him, care for him, raise him in a loving home? What is going on?

Abortion Industry: Marie Stopes Exposed

embryo - 3 days

Embryo – 3 days – click on image for information about fetal development

The Marie Stopes abortion industry is in trouble after a surprise inspection by the Care Quality Commission Read more here

This news – reported in the broadcasting and print media days ago, makes the article below, published in 2015, all the more interesting…

7 Things you did not know about Marie Stopes International
June 12, 2015

  1. They treat their staff appallingly 

One Marie Stopes employee refused to comply with their anti-patient protocols and threatened to expose their behaviour. He received racist comments at work along with bullying, before being given false charges of sexual assault leading to a high profile crown court trial in March 2009 with the attendant media frenzy.

  1. Their medical practices are shocking

Former employees have testified that the abortion industry is a money driven business. Once you have a license it is just money all the way. You don’t pay taxes because you are a charity, you employ vulnerable doctors and nurses at cheap rates and exploit vulnerable girls from Ireland, Scotland and England. The managers make huge bonuses, go on expensive skiing holidays, buy designer clothes and shoes and watch porn during working hours and organise sex theme parties. Medical decisions are taken by non-medical managers. Employees are forced to counter sign consent forms without having seen the patient and often in advance. Employees have been forced to anaesthetise against the protocols of the Royal College and they told their employees that the GMC and Royal Colleges were in their pockets. In Ealing, West London, Marie Stopes have ambulances regularly called to the abortion centre (4 in a 40 day time period in 2013), as they arrive to deal with the issue of botched abortions. An Irish woman died in the same centre in January 2012, shortly afterwards, Dr Phanuel Dartey was struck off the General Medical Register in Britain for almost killing a woman in the same centre. Another Marie Stopes employee performed botched surgery on five patients after claiming he could revolutionise their sex lives.

  1. They boast about providing illegal abortions all around the world

At a conference in London in 2007, Paul Cornellisson boasted how Marie Stopes promotes illegal abortion all around the world. Marie Stopes are happy to provide abortions breaking the laws of many different countries.

  1. The British taxpayer supports their work to the tune of millions of pounds every year… Click  here to read the entire list of 7…

Comment:

It’s very good news that the Stopes’ clinics are being exposed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) but the whole scandal of abortion law in the UK seems to be dulled in the Catholic conscience. Two of the so called  Catholic weekly publications are reporting the suspension of services at Marie Stopes as being welcomed by “Pro-Lifers” –  making a distinction between those actively working in the pro-life movement and Catholics in general.  

No Government is particularly bothered about a few activists fighting for their preferred causes but it might make a difference if they thought the votes of every Catholic depended on the policy of political parties to ending abortion [and, indeed, the other immoral laws which attack the natural moral law]. Voting for individual “pro-life” candidates doesn’t cut it. The individual politicians don’t make policy, so the aim has to be to get political parties to change their policy and to commit themselves to ending the murdering of unborn babies. You are welcome to express your view on this, although the really interesting discussion is likely to centre on which one of “the 7 things you did not know about Marie Stopes International” you consider to be the most important fact to have in your armoury when in debate with the pro-abortionists.      

It's a girl!

It’s a girl!

Cult of Facebook Versus Catholic Faith?

I regularly hear parental concerns about the dangerously intrusive and addictive nature of Facebook, and, indeed, social media generally.  I’ve heard a variety of opinions expressed and examples given of the harm it can do to family life, but the most shocking remark came from a teenager (from a good Catholic family) who intimated that it would be easier to give up his Catholic Faith than Facebook .  Below,  a short televised conversation on the addictive nature of social media…

Comment:

There’s lots of research available on this subject, but the articles tend to be lengthy and usually end with the observation that, in moderation, social media is OK – having just detailed plenty of evidence to demonstrate how addictive it all is, and thus “moderation” is not the norm.  So, our question for discussion here really focuses on whether Catholic parents who are Facebook (and/or Twitter)  addicts themselves, need to re-think their devotion to social media and consider the damage they may be doing to their offspring. It may take years to manifest itself, but is it, in your experience, adding to the quality of your family life or having a detrimental effect on your family relationships?   Some parents, such as some home-schoolers, are finding that their children say they feel deprived because they’re not on Facebook and so are missing out on life online.   Are such parents really guilty of neglect? SHOULD they conform to the new types of “relationships” by signing up – or allowing their children to sign up – for Facebook? Or is the current fashion of permitting or encouraging children to sign up for social media actually a form of child abuse?  Does it really have to be ‘Facebook Versus Faith’?

Abortion Uproar In Parliament…

In the video below, Andy Stephenson, Founder of Abort 67, explains what happened in a recent meeting in Parliament that caused abortion supporters to go running for the police.  Listen to Andy in the video below, and then read his letter which follows…

The meeting was organised by Abortion Rights and sponsored by the Shadow Minister for Women, Cat Smith MP.

The Labour MP described herself as a “pro-choice Christian”; assuring the room the two conflicting positions were compatible.

Watch the video to see our response to the meeting. (No pro-lifers were arrested in the making of this video).

[Andy] says: If you would like to partner with us in making abortion unthinkable, then please make a donation by emailing ivana@cbruk.org

The Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform UK and the Abort67 project are working to expose this enormous human rights abuse. We can end it but only if we can allow people to see it for what it really is. 

We would love to step up the exposure with your help on our weekly displays or helping us arrange presentations for your friends or church so they too can think about how they can get involved.

Thank you for your support!
Every blessing,
Andy Stephenson

Comments invited…

Seal of Confession – Inviolable…

The Big Questions, a discussion show broadcast live on BBC 1 on Sundays, recently included the topic: Are any sins unforgivable” 

Francis Davis

Francis Davis

The presenter, Nicky Campbell, inevitably raised the issue of child abuse by priests.  He turned to the token Catholic on the panel, to suggest that priests should report anyone to the police who confessed that sin  and he, Professor Francis Davis (impressive academic title notwithstanding) hadn’t a clue how to explain and defend the seal of Confession. It took the Anglican  a couple of seats away, to do so.  In fact, Davis appears to concede that there is a case for breaking the inviolable seal of Confession. Tell me if I’m misunderstanding him. You can click here to see the show for yourself – scroll along to 39.14 to hear Nicky introduce the question directed at Francis Davis and notice his apparent concession at 41.06.

Davis has a column in the Catholic Times, which I stopped reading because Mgr Loftus’ column is published just below the Davis piece and I just can’t take both on the same day, over the same cuppa.  I need a break, so I generally forget, conveniently, to go back to digest the Davis stuff – and it is “stuff” – the last column I read (5/2/16) is akin to a personal diary of his drinking habits as he participated in the fashionable  Dry January campaign.  When he writes about Catholic matters it’s a case of not knowing whether to laugh or cry. Not sure why he’s published above the Mgr Loftus column but it sure ain’t to provide a contrast. They’re both “liberals” to their fingertips.

As we enter Lent today, Ash Wednesday, we might reflect on and discuss the importance of Confession – and explain to the lurkers why no priest may ever divulge anything they learn in Confession.

General Discussion (10)

cartoondiscussion10If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to  make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread or another thread where it would be appropriate to post your comment.  Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever.   Enjoy! 

To read previous 9 General Discussion Threads, click on the links listed below.
(1)
click here  (2) click here  (3) click here  (4) click here  (5) click here
(6) click here 
(7) click here  (8) click here  (9) click here

Dunkeld Priest: Scottish Catholicism is quite Presbyterian – No surprise then…

ElevationofHosttradmassThe headline of this thread is part of the front page headline of our March 2007 newsletter, Issue No. 44.  The complete headline reads:  Dunkeld Priest: “Scottish Catholicism is quite Presbyterian” – No surprise then that he disposes of the doctrine of Transubstantiation.

The headline introduced a report on a Dunkeld priest – Fr Tom Shields –  who completely betrayed the Faith in an interview which was published in the Church of Scotland periodical Life & Work…

The Life & Work interviewer remarks that  “Catholics have varying interpretations, even mongst themselves, about what exactly Transubstantiation means” (and it is not clear if this observation comes from the interviewer, or the priest) but Fr Tom Shields comments:  “If you understand ‘substance’ in a commonplace way as ‘depth’ (as in ‘that person has depth’) most Catholics would agree that, yes, in the substance of the bread and wine something special happens here.”

Now, as I pointed out in my commentary at the time, “something special” is the description you would apply if you witnessed a daylight robbery at your local bank and managed to find a policeman within an hour…  And, again, as I pointed out in my commentary at the time, I know of at least one RE teacher on record as saying that if she ever has the power to remove one single word from the dictionary, it will be the over-used to the point of being meaningless term “special”.

So, why am I resurrecting such an old newsletter report? Has Fr Tom Shields repented of his theological and ecclesiastical gaffes? Not quite. Unfortunately, like most of the priests who have featured in our newsletter over the years, Fr Shields is now featuring in the secular press for less than edifying reasons.    Click here to read report.

But before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I’m keen to discuss this sad news of another priest suspended pending police enquiries into historical abuse claims, not so.  I was about to close down and look for another topic, when I noticed this little nugget:   Last year, Bishop of Dunkeld, Stephen Robson appointed Shields to head up the church’s youth formation programme and to help with religious education in schools.

A priest who can’t explain the doctrine of  Transubstantiation to an adult Protestant, isn’t going to be a raving success in the world of the Terrible Teens, now, is he?