Once again, Republicans are standing up for the life of the most vulnerable.
Two Republican congressmen — Reps. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio and Trent Franks of Arizona — have planned to introduce legislation on Monday that grants “lawful permanent residence status in the United States,” allowing Charlie Gard and his family to flee from the U.K. death panels.
“Despite Charlie’s heartbreaking condition, his parents have refused to give up hope,” said Reps. Brad Wenstrup (OH) and Trent Franks (AZ). “They have advocated for him fiercely. They have raised over £1 million to pay for their son to receive experimental treatment in the United States. They have kept fighting for his life.”
When Congress returns to session next week, the two lawmakers say their bill “will support Charlie’s parents’ right to choose what is best for their son, by making Charlie a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. in order for him to receive treatments that could save his life.”
Wenstrup and Franks continued in a statement:
“Should this little boy to be ordered to die — because a third party, overriding the wishes of his parents, believes it can conclusively determine that immediate death is what is best for him?
“Every human life has dignity, including the lives of those who cannot speak up for themselves. When government is able to overrule a parent or guardian in determining a patient’s best interest, every vulnerable patient is put at risk. We offer Connie Yates and Chris Gard our heartfelt support as they seek to care for their son,” the statement concluded.
Charlie is 11 months old and suffers from infantile-onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome – a very rare and terminal genetic disorder. Specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital said they had exhausted all treatment options and told Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, their son would be removed from life support.
The London hospital declined assistance from the Vatican hospital, citing decisions by the U.K. domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights, both of which ruled that removal from life support was in Charlie’s “best interests.”
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