Charlie Gard and Parental Rights in Mississippi

Olive Branch,MS

By: Dana Criswell,
Representative District 6, Olive Branch

For several months we’ve followed the tragic story of Charlie Gard in England. We’ve watched as his parents fought a government bureaucracy that cared more about money and policy than saving the life of a newborn child.

After Charlie’s birth he seemed to be a perfectly healthy baby, but when his parents took him home they became alarmed that Charlie was not gaining weight. They returned with Charlie to the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London where doctors diagnosed Charlie with infantile onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS).

England’s government-run health care system was not equipped to help Charlie, but Connie Yates and Chris Gard, Charlie’s parents, were determined to do everything they could to save their child. They began searching for answers and found an experimental treatment, nucleoside bypass therapy (NBT); but experimental treatments are expensive and England’s healthcare system is already in financial trouble so the bureaucrats decided it was not worth the expense to give Charlie a chance to live.

Not willing to give up on their child, Charlie’s parents raised $1.7 million through online crowd- funding and were ready to take Charlie to America, but the hospital denied them that right. GOSH’s doctors, in consultation with other “experts,” decided that Charlie should be taken off life support and allowed to “die with dignity.”

Charlie’s parents continued to fight for the life of their child but were blocked by the courts and on July 28, 2017 Charlie Gard was killed by the British government.

You may think this could never happen in the United States, especially in Mississippi because parents have rights and no government doctor could ever overrule a parent’s healthcare decision about their child. Sadly, you would be wrong – it does happen in Mississippi. Under the guise of the “greater good” children are subjected to vaccinations that have been proven to harm many children. Our state Department of Health has chosen to treat our children as a herd and with the help of our state legislature they have taken away the right of parents to protect their child. Forty-seven healthier states allow parents religious or personal belief exemptions, but in Mississippi our state doctors demand every child be vaccinated regardless of the parent’s wish.

Just this month a lawsuit has been filed against Canopy Children’s Solutions, a children’s mental health facility that receives state funding, for assaulting a 16 year old girl and forcibly injecting her with the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine against her wish and the wish of her mother. The suit alleges that the girl was physically restrained, forced into a van, and taken to the local health department where she was given the vaccine.

If a Mississippi healthcare facility that is primarily funded with public money can forcibly inject a minor against the will of her parent, then how far are we from Charlie Gard? A tragic event like the court ordered death of young Charlie Gard should make every parent fearful of any agency that disrespects and disregards a parent’s decision. How the Mississippi courts decide the case against Canopy will tell us just how close to Charlie Gard we are in Mississippi.