Signs of the Times: Charlie Gard and the Goods of Medicine

The case of Charlie Gard, an eleven-month-old infant in the UK suffering from a rare inherited disease, has garnered worldwide attention in recent months. When Charlie’s parents tried to bring him to the US for an experimental treatment, hospital officials intervened to stop them, and the courts became involved, setting off an extended legal battle for Charlie’s family and their supporters.

Predictably, Charlie’s situation led to much debate on matters such as family rights, the value of life, and government overreach. Figures as varied as Pope Francis and Donald Trump weighed in, as did numerous authorities in the field of Medical Ethics. On Monday, July 24th, Charlie’s parents decided to retract their request in the courts, bringing an end to the legal saga, but not to the questions that Charlie’s case raised. In a recent article written for Religion and Ethics, Jeffrey Bishop discussed the way that the Charlie Gard case prompted reflection on the question of the ethical goods of medicine, and the ways that Western liberalism can sometimes confuse or obscure these goods. Because such questions are bound up with the mission of Ekklesia Project, we share this article here.
(Photo Credit: BBC.Com)