Article/Video appears below sponsored content
Charlie’s case touches on some of the most sensitive moral and political questions about the role of the state at the end of life. The decisions of the European courts represented the final word on whether Charlie’s parents could pursue treatment in the U.S., and after the ruling, Yates and Gard claimed the hospital had denied permission for them to take Charlie back to their home to die. Yates and Gard have framed the medical dispute as “Charlie’s fight,” developing a large social-media following as they chronicled their effort to pursue further treatment for their son. The case also has religious dimensions: On their instagram page, Yates and Gard documented their celebration of their son’s baptism and showed him clutching a pendant of St. Jude, the Catholic figure most often associated with hospitals and medical care. Media in the U.K. have followed the Gard family’s case closely and the court orders to end Charlie’s life have been fiercely criticized by conservatives in the U.S. and abroad.
Trump, who has consistently expressed his verbal support for religious freedom, has now stepped in, cementing the issue as an international cause for conservatives. “Upon learning of baby Charlie Gard’s situation, President Trump has offered to help the family in this heartbreaking situation,” the White House said in a statement issued on Monday afternoon. “Although the President himself has not spoken to the family, he does not want to pressure them in any way, members of the administration have spoken to the family in calls facilitated by the British government. The President is just trying to be helpful if at all possible.”