An Update on Charlie Gard


The reports of Charlie Gard’s death are greatly exaggerated. As word of his imminent demise spread around the globe, a multitude of voices have been lifted in prayer for little Charlie. Untold numbers of the faithful have petitioned long-standing patrons of impossible causes like St. Jude and St. Rita, as well as recently departed souls like the Blessed Chiara Badano. Perhaps it is thanks to their intercessions that this child still lives. Charlie’s parents were back in court yesterday to present new testimony from half a dozen American, Italian, and Spanish doctors who have stated that his case is not hopeless.

Even as the staff of the hospital responsible for his care and the European courts fight to kill him, this little baby is tenaciously defying the odds.  In the days since the Orwellian European Court of Human Rights handed down an effective death sentence, no less than Pope Francis and President Trump and many others have raised their voices to give this poor child every chance at survival. Congress is even considering a bill to make Charlie a legal permanent resident, so he can freely travel to the United States to seek treatment for his condition. Like a sort of modern-day Moses in the bulrushes, Charlie Gard has found some powerful protectors here across the water.

Meanwhile, the case of the so-called “boy without a brain” reminds us of the incredible resilience of young children to severe mental and physical disabilities at birth. As anyone with young children knows, babies possess enormous capacity for regeneration and healing. A small scrape which would take weeks to heal for an adult is often completely gone for children within days. Children are not so fragile as we might suppose. Other children with conditions similar to Charlie’s were given the same experimental treatment his parents are seeking, and showed genuine progress.

The fact that Charlie is still fighting for his life poses a threat to socialized medicine, because the supposed experts had already given up hope, but his parents have persisted. If the experts are shown to be mistaken, it will call into question the larger trend towards euthanizing the seriously and chronically ill. If Charlie miraculously survives, it will be a stunning rebuke to the conceit that well-educated elites know better than the rest of us. Like Michael Banks in Mary Poppins, his feeble demand for his own two cents could trigger a run on the credibility of those in power, and that is why the government and the hospital have fought so cruelly and bitterly against his parents’ wishes.

Perhaps the experimental treatment will not help Charlie. Perhaps the legal delays have already sapped too much valuable time which could have made a difference in his prognosis. Perhaps God is calling him home and our human efforts to forestall the inevitable are in vain. But then again, perhaps Charlie might be the boy who lived. We won’t know though unless we fight as hard for him as he is fighting just to stay alive.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Joshua Bowman joined in full communion with the Catholic Church in 2010 after many years in the spiritual wilderness. He recently moved back to his beloved native Virginia from Columbus, Ohio with his growing family and writes on religion, politics, history, and geographical curiosities.


  1. You really have no shame. How can you call this situation a rebuke to socialized medicine when you, and your organization, are promoting drastic cuts to Medicaid, i.e. the only way the vast majority of the permanently disabled in the US can access health care? If anything, the situation is a rebuke of you and your stubborn insistence that anything the Republican Party says is gospel.

    • Anna, that is truly an unfair assumption as this article is about the status of Charlie Gard and not the Republican party. But, since you did bring up the subject, it is quite fair for this article to rebuke socialized medicine as the UK operates under it. Under socialized medicine, Charlie Gard’s medical care is no longer under the control of those who love him, his parents, but under the direction of the state who is determining to terminate that care. As far as Medicaid cuts, that is another subject entirely. Thank you Joshua for keeping us updated on Charlie’s status.

      • “Congress is even considering a bill to make Charlie a legal permanent resident, so he can freely travel to the United States to seek treatment for his condition. Like a sort of modern-day Moses in the bulrushes, Charlie Gard has found some powerful protectors here across the water.”
        Those are Bowman’s exact words. Just answer the question: if Gard comes to the US, becomes a citizen, and survives to adulthood, please describe why cutting Medicaid would be the best way to ensure his health care needs are met as an adult.

        • Obama UNCONSTITIONALLY EXPANDED MEDICARE for individuals who could work, since that expenditure needed to be approved by
          congress. Did you KNOW THAT?! SO REVERSAL OF THAT IS NECESSARY.
          Also, Medicare funding is going to be allotted to the STATES IN A LUMP SUM, to be distributed by the States. IT IS NOT THE FEDERAL GOV’T. job to run the health care of the country anymore than it is to feed the population! The feds should not take over what can be done by the lower level of society, IN THIS CASE BY THE FAMILY AND NOT THE UK gov.

          • Ok, so how do you envision an adult Gard accessing health care? Again, it’s a simple question that no one apparently wants to answer.

        • Anna uhhh, you brought up the Medicaid/Republican thing. Not mentioned anywhere else on this page. Just FYI. Really seems like you’re just looking for a fight. Hopefully this comment will keep others from taking your bait 🙂

          • Just so I’m understanding here, in a discussion of health care for Charlie Gard, and him possibly coming to the US, talking about his health care options in the US is off-topic?

  2. AS a mother of. Eight I am in tears over this situation!!! Too many
    Ideas and thoughts…..this situation belongs in the hands of Almighty God and the babe’s parent’s!!
    please every human being get down on your knees and pray that Amight GOD will step in and direct this infants future and the parents future also!! IF EVERY GOD LOVING HUMAN BEING WILL GET DOWN ON THEIR KNEES AND BEG OUR ALMIGHTY TO “DIRECT” AND BLESS this child’s future, we can sleep with an open heart!!!!!


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