Why do conservatives always assume that the parents know what is best?
The irony in the current Baby Gard case (which Trump has opportunistically weighed in on - groan), is that the US neurologist who has offered to try an experimental treatment is explicitly saying that it would be a "treatment, not a cure", and at most may achieve this:
He said the therapy, which would be tried for six months, would provide a "small chance" of a meaningful improvement in Charlie's brain function.Charlie at the moment is (apparently) completely reliant on ventilation and a feeding tube, and is not conscious. Given that I'm sure both ventilation and feeding tubes are distressing if you are awake, at least he is not suffering. (True, a young, awake baby would not understand what is happening, but the physical sensation of having feeding tube and ventilation is presumably detectable by a conscious baby, and is surely not pleasant.)
"[Charlie] may be able to interact. To smile. To look at objects," he said.
It would seem that, at best, the neurologist is suggesting that he might be improved enough to gain consciousness, but if that happens while he is still reliant on a feeding tube and ventilator, that is where the true suffering would begin!
Don't the parents recognise that risk?
The mother (and her supporters) have been quoted as saying that even if this treatment doesn't work, it's worth the experiment because that is how effective treatments might be found. I can see the "in principle" reasoning for that - but no acknowledgement that a partially successful treatment sounds likely to increase this baby's suffering before his ultimate death. And, it very much seems that there is no real medical opinion that there will ever be a cure for mitochondrial disease, given the problem is at the cellular level.
Look, these cases are tragic and he is a really beautiful baby, but the fact remains that highly emotional parents, and conservative Christians who believe in miracles, may well not be capable of making the best decisions in cases like this. There is a strong case to be made that it is the English doctors and the judges backing them who are the ones being more compassionate here.