Thursday, July 20, 2017
Melissa Moschella, Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics at Columbia University, wrote an excellent analysis of the competing interests of the doctors, the courts, and the parents of 11-month old Charlie Gard, who was born with a rare genetic disease known as mitochondrial depletion syndrome. The hospital in England where Charlie is being treated wants to withdraw his life support, while his parents want to take up the offer of an American specialist at Columbia University in New York to try some experimental treatment. The High Court in Britain first refused the parents permission to do so, and is now reconsidering the matter. More recently, Melissa offered some interesting thoughts about the propriety of having Charlie's court-appointed guardian ad litem being represented in court by a lawyer who is actively involved in an organization closely aligned with Dignity in Dying, an advocacy group for assisted suicide.