Government Medicine: Court Declares Child Should Die Rather Than Receive Privately-Funded Health Care

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute

In a government-controlled healthcare system, the state determines who can receive treatment and when. This has long been admitted. But, what is less often discussed is that once a patient finds himself within a state-run healthcare facility, the state may deny him treatment — even if privately funded. 

This was recently illustrated when Charlie Gard, a small child suffering from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, was denied privately-funded treament planned by his parents. 

According to the BBC:

Chris Gard and Connie Yates lost their final legal bid to take their son to the US for treatment.

 

Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital believe Charlie has no chance of survival...

 

European Court judges have now concluded it was most likely Charlie was "being exposed to continued pain, suffering and distress" and undergoing experimental treatment with "no prospects of success... would offer no benefit".

 

They said the application presented by the parents was "inadmissible" and said the court's decision was "final".

 

The court "also considered that it was appropriate to lift the interim measure" which had required doctors to continue providing life support treatment to Charlie.

 

BBC health correspondent Fergus Walsh said it is likely Charlie's life support machine will be turned off within a few days following discussions between the hospital and his family.

In other words, the court declared that the child should die rather than allow his parents to pursue privately-funded medical care in the United States. 

Often when we see cases like this, it is a case of different family members arguing over treatment. This was the case in the Terri Schiavo case in which Schiavo was refused life-saving medical care according to the wishes of one family member — but against the wishes of other family members. 

In the Charlie Gard case, both parents are in agreement in wishing to pursue treatment in the US. But, it appears that the state is acting on its own initiative here and demanding the child be left to die because some government-employed doctors — none of whom are related to the child — wish it. 

Nor do the parents seek to continue using any of the hospital's tax-funded resources. They merely wish to pursue treatment elsewhere. 

The state says no. 

Justin Murray reported on the case in April at mises.org, and noted

[A] major feature of the free market, private charity, kicked in wonderfully. Within a month of denial and discovery of the treatment, Charlie’s parents managed to raise the entire amount to pay for the treatment and trip to the United States. In a normal world, this would have been the end of the story. Charlie would have gone to the United States, received his treatment and we would have discovered if his already dire situation could have been mitigated or treatment failed.

 

But the NHS [the British National Health Service] decided, for whatever reason, to interfere with this process. When Charlie’s parents attempted to withdraw him for this treatment, Great Ormond Street, a children’s hospital in Greater London run by the NHS, rushed to the British High Court to block his parents from doing so. As government court systems are wont to do, they sided with themselves and denied the parents’ wishes for further private treatment and gave an official court order that Charlie is to be removed from life support and left to die. This was a no-lose situation for Charlie and his family. If the treatment fails, the end result is the same and the parents can at least have closure that they tried everything possible. If the treatment is a success, he can live enough years to be able to learn what his parents look like, interact with them and be able to experience some joy in life. One can wonder, cynically, if the court system ordered his death to avoid risking embarrassing the NHS should the treatment they denied actually work.

 

Unlike the usual defects of public medical care, where resources are politically allocated leading to critical shortages for perfectly preventable diseases, such as the case of Laura Hiller in Canada, all the while claiming that medical care in a free market would be provided on a cut-throat system that denies the poor care. Charlie’s case shatters this self-proclaimed image. Here we have elements of the free market working as expected but with the government actively, and openly, doing everything it can to interfere with it.

The British NHS isn't alone in making war on experimental treatments, either. The US government (via the FDA) for years has blocked use of various experimental treatments and technologies for extremely ill patients who quite reasonably conclude they have little to lose from using potentially dangerous treatments. 

In response, some states have even taken localized action as in the case of Louisiana's "Right to Try" law. Provided the treatments are privately funded, state law guarantees residents may use experimental non-FDA approved treatment under certain circumstances. (Insurance companies are not required to cover said treatments.)

Obviously, this more tolerant and rational philosophy has escaped the NHS and the British Parliament where it is apparently believed that all children belong to the state, even when their treatment options are to be funded by private charity.

 

Comments

Never One Roach erkme73 Thu, 06/29/2017 - 22:09 Permalink

My friend died in a London Hospital because they ran out of his blood type for a second surgery. He had a surgery on his aorta and all went well for a few days there they noticed a "leak" and the surgeons wante dto tak ehim back to repair it but no more blood was available.So they let him die like a rat in the ICU. They refused to fly in blook from the EU or USA (which my family and his made available and paid for).Do NOT beleive the things some people tell you about gubmint/socialized medicine.....IT SUCKS!

In reply to by erkme73

Luc X. Ifer erkme73 Thu, 06/29/2017 - 22:17 Permalink

People should awake to the raw reality. Human society basically is built from 3 layers. 1. The Aristocracy - the owners of the human cattle farms, the 1%. In the history they grouped using various denominations and models but basically they where always the same.

2. The aristocracy camarilla - the cattle farmers, technically they take turns at managing and administering the cattle farms for maximizing the Aristocracy benefits and they get their cut/share into the profits obtained from exploiting the cattle. They are the true workers evaluated for performance for sharing into the benefits, and the performance in thus case is the system output beneficiary to the 1%.

3. The cattle - the rest of the humans not belonging to the aristocracy or the camarilla, the ones living the life like a dream using fabricated projections to guide themselves in life instead of awakening to the reality and taking ownership of their own life and freedom. They practically function as slaves, serfs buying their level of life availability, the more output one generate in the evaluation of the administrators the more 'life value currency' one gets.

"To see the farm, one has to leave it"

In a farm, cattle gets the level of health care the farm management decides is cost effective so that the cattle returns to being max productive, otherwise the cattle gets retired in such a way that the moral and ethical costs can't be claimed against the farm owners.

In reply to by erkme73

UselessEater Luc X. Ifer Thu, 06/29/2017 - 22:30 Permalink

Neat way to skirt the jewish question... ever looked into how much they hate white civilazations i.e. goyim "cattle"? Something to do with being booted out more than a hundred times for being non-productive parasites???Here are 3 excellent links to videos, articles or books from a huge selection of goyim "cattle" researchers and writers ... most very recently banned by youtube and amazon - what other recommendation do you need?http://historyreviewed.com/https://www.darkmoon.me/http://barnesreview…

In reply to by Luc X. Ifer

Bigly junction Thu, 06/29/2017 - 20:38 Permalink

Yes.The compensation rates for thise govt programs is so low that is the correct reality. It is more hidden as some docs and then hospitals also serve insureds. However, just look at the VA for the apparent issues.People are beyond retarded if they want to be a part of a government run/controlled healthcare system.It is all about rationing, waiting and sub standard care.I despair as the senate is not repealing ocare it seems 

In reply to by junction

ConnectingTheDots Bigly Fri, 06/30/2017 - 10:42 Permalink

The real "death panels" are working for the private insurance companies where everyday they make decisions on not paying benefits in order to pad the profit margins and the resulting executive bonuses from those profits.

The US has the MOST EXPENSIVE healthcare in the world and yet according to Forbes, it ranks deal last in outcomes.

In reply to by Bigly

Catullus Thu, 06/29/2017 - 20:14 Permalink

Because that's what "Single-Payer" is. Only one person can pay for your healthcare. And if they don't want to, you don't get healthcare treatment. It's a very efficient way to get fucked.

WillyGroper Thu, 06/29/2017 - 20:16 Permalink

were it one of the controllers progeny, nothing would be witheld.of course their medical is a bit better since most of those maggots live into their 90's or 100's.

t0mmyBerg Thu, 06/29/2017 - 20:18 Permalink

this story doesnt make any sense.  cant they just remove him from the hospotal and fly him to the US?  Are they saying the court is going to actually order a constable to physically STOP them from leaving with their own child?  The story does not make this clear

Itinerant gdpetti Thu, 06/29/2017 - 20:51 Permalink

The article is propaganda. If it is a European Court the judge is not finding for the British government or the NHS, but must be issuing some human rights ruling. The judge mentions "being exposed to continued pain, suffering and distress". I don't know exactly what the story is, but we're getting some short-circuited propaganda here. It is quite common for people to take their child or loved one to the USA as a measure of last resort. Usually the only argument is whether the treatment is considered effective by the insurance carrier (which in some cases could be the government) and whether they will pay any amount of the costs.

In reply to by gdpetti

Vidar t0mmyBerg Thu, 06/29/2017 - 20:49 Permalink

It clearly states:  Within a month of denial and discovery of the treatment, Charlie’s parents managed to raise the entire amount to pay for the treatment and trip to the United States. In a normal world, this would have been the end of the story. Charlie would have gone to the United States, received his treatment and we would have discovered if his already dire situation could have been mitigated or treatment failed. But the NHS [the British National Health Service] decided, for whatever reason, to interfere with this process. When Charlie’s parents attempted to withdraw him for this treatment, Great Ormond Street, a children’s hospital in Greater London run by the NHS, rushed to the British High Court to block his parents from doing so. As government court systems are wont to do, they sided with themselves and denied the parents’ wishes for further private treatment and gave an official court order that Charlie is to be removed from life support and left to die.

In reply to by t0mmyBerg

Ave Reg Nuklhed (not verified) sinbad2 Thu, 06/29/2017 - 22:00 Permalink

It's not the doctors' baby to decide. It's not the government's baby to decide. I "went to school & learned things", as a physician. And guess what, I'm still just an Average Knucklehead.If this were insane parents clearly torturing a child without hope, maybe, just maybe, But it's not that clear in this case.

In reply to by sinbad2

Flankspeed60 sinbad2 Thu, 06/29/2017 - 22:12 Permalink

If the child is indeed 'braindead,' then there is no suffering and no issue of 'dignity' involved. The suffering parents of that child should be free to allocate their personal resources as they see fit, and not have government goons making those decisions for them. I want NO ONE, elected, appointed or otherwise, making those decisions for me, if I'm paying and burdening no one else. Period!

In reply to by sinbad2

Vilfredo Pareto Thu, 06/29/2017 - 20:32 Permalink

That was a rather odd ruling.   It is possible the money they raised only covered certain things and they were expecting the government to keep the kid alive on the government dime until travel could be arranged.   I am trying to look at this in the best light lol If you are going to control costs this is how you do it.  "We determined further care is a waste of money.  We are pulling the plug Monday.  If you want to avoid that arrange private appropriate medical transport before Monday.  Can't do it until Wednesday?  Too bad."