I have already nailed my colours to the mast on this one so there is no way I can let this go without having another say…
Even if the end was (more or less) inevitable – I was always going to write about it. Whether Charlie got to visit the doctors in America or not. Even if that therapy failed to make a difference. Happy or sad, good or bad; this story needs a conclusion.
Whatever your opinion recent events should have brought a tear to your eye.
Being the cynical old dad that I am I might normally laugh at the self-styled Charlie’s Army. Write them off and call them nutters etc…as many seem to have done. But this is different. This case involves the National Health Service (NHS) and I am immediately sceptical of what goes on in the UK’s hugely inefficient health system. I am not anti-NHS nor do I particularly favour private health care per se. I do however believe that while the intentions may still be honourable the NHS is no longer fit for purpose and should be rebuilt from the bottom up. It is certainly not this untouchable, perfect organization that we are often led to believe it is. It should not be above criticism. This is a very important issue because it affects us all remember. Or soon will do for my generation. I have written a blog post comparing the health systems in Spain and the UK which I intend to publish this week. Please read it and feel free to comment.
I do not have blind faith in the workings of the NHS. The nurses and doctors and their assistants – people on the shop floor – may be doing their best but as an organization it is broken. Unfortunately, the NHS in the UK is above such criticism. It is a political football that no one dare criticize. It certainly seems there is no politician brave enough to suggest that it must be hugely improved or even rebuilt.
Conspiracy Theories or Just Harsh Realities?
For all the good that places like Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) do they are definitely influenced and (who knows?) may be funded (at least in part) by big pharma. Vested interests abound.
Is the therapy (including drugs) being offered by the American doctor something that cannot be copyrighted by big pharma? Just a thought. This blog post is beginning to resemble the Pelican Brief!
Having said all that, I am an old dad. It means I have been around long enough to see a lot of things. Nothing surprises me anymore. I am by nature bit of a cynic. Such cynicism grows with age and experience. This is true for most of us. So here is another thought…
Has the situation been deliberately prolonged by the parents? Is it possible that they have done this for some untoward reason? I do not think so; but you can never be too sure. Remember the case of the woman in Doncaster, England who faked her own daughters’ disappearance in the hope that the public would throw money at the cause? It turns out the little girl was hidden away in the house of one of her mother’s friends. These things do indeed occur. Life really is stranger than fiction, so nothing, absolutely nothing, would surprise me.
Time will tell if the money raised for little Charlie will be used correctly or not. I believe it will.
The Sad Summary…
One thing I am convinced of is that the GOSH have some serious questions to answer. Unfortunately in the UK the hospitals and NHS never seem to have to confront such questions. Whatever they say is supposed to be taken as the undisputed truth and second opinions (if they ever happen) are not considered. The whole system needs to be seriously looked at. If nothing else comes of this sad case then let us all hope that it somehow changes the way such things are considered in the health service
Some things are hard to dispute. In her final statement to the court Charlie’s mother summarized it simply.
“There is one simple reason for Charlie’s muscles deteriorating to the extent they are in now – time. A whole lot of wasted time.”
“All we wanted to do was take Charlie from one world-renowned hospital to another world-renowned hospital. We feel that we should have been trusted as parents to do so.”
I would urge you to read up on the facts of the case. Read the mother’s final statement to the court. For me, it is clear that Charlie should have been given that one opportunity. For me, the timeline of events tells its own story.
So; this sad and sorry tale draws to a close; although not quite. Even now they are still deciding where Charlie can be allowed to “die with dignity”, telling the parents that Charlie cannot be allowed to die at home.
I wonder what will come to light in the coming months? I am sure we have not heard the last of this.