Charlie Gard, the terminally ill baby whose short life has generated so much attention, has died just before his first birthday. As the BBC has reported, “He suffered from an extremely rare genetic condition causing progressive brain damage and muscle weakness”. Charlie had been moved from Great Ormond Street Hospital to a hospice for his last hours.
Charlie Gard with his parents
Much has been written about the case, and so many of those sounding off have been, at the very least, poorly informed. But what has been said by the British media is as nothing when set alongside the screaming and baying outpourings emanating from the USA, where for so many airing their views, ignorance is that most coveted of merit badges.
Many of those Stateside, and their hangers-on, did not need to debate the niceties of the Charlie Gard case: they knew what killed him, and it wasn’t a rare genetic condition. The brains trust on display included Battersea basement dweller Paul Watson, who concluded “EU death panel claims another victim”. Richard Mills went further: “With socialized healthcare, Charlie Gard was … Under the control of a death panel … Denied access to US care … Told where to die by the gov”. He’s a widely published writer. A stupid one.
Jack Posobiec, another writer, also knew why Charlie died: “UK Death Panel has ruled against Charlie Gard”. The UK has a death panel, and no-one here knew! And there was another culprit, called the Single Payer system - well, you learn something every day. We know this because Herman Cain was on hand to tell “UK single payer healthcare system succeeds in its effort to guarantee the death of Charlie Gard”.
He once put himself forward as a Presidential candidate. And the US medical profession was at it too, Marty Fox (who you can tell as he’s a doctor) claiming “R.I.P. #CharlieGard … Murdered By Single Payer #Government Healthcare … #PoliticalCorrectness Has A Body Count”. Oh, and then there was socialised medicine. Cassandra Fairbanks knew that was A Very Bad Thing: “The Charlie Gard case pretty much shuts down any idea that socialized medicine is a good idea”. Another opinion former. Another well of ignorance.
How about a view from the pulpit? Douglas Wilson is a Church minister, and he was sure Who Done It: “Charlie Gard has passed away, and the death panels of socialized medicine have not”. Elected representatives? Allen West, a former Congressman, asserted “After Charlie Gard, UK doubles down on rationing socialized medicine”. It does? Whatever.
Any more opinion formers willing to do stupid? Grant Kidney, podcaster and video maker, certainly was: “Charlie Gard is dead thanks to the wretched philosophy of socialism. Another baby butchered in the name of Leftist authoritarianism”. And PolitixGal was on hand to dispense the M-Word, too: “SOCIALIZED MEDICINE / GOVT-RUN HEALTHCARE murdered Charlie Gard! This is what Dems want for Americans & their children!”
Charlie Gard could not have been saved by any health care system, anywhere on the planet. He was not butchered or murdered. There was no involvement from a “single payer system”. “Socialised medicine” did not affect his condition, and there was no “Death panel”. But there is a high incidence of wilful ignorance on view here.
The USA has, overall, less good health outcomes than the UK, which gets those better outcomes for a fraction of the cost. We need no lectures from the Stateside stupid.