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Pray for Charlie Gard: The cost of socialized medicine

July 25. 2017 11:52PM

The odds were always against Charlie Gard.

The 11-month-old boy suffers from an exceedingly rare genetic disorder. It is fatal. There is no treatment. There is no cure.

Doctors at London’s Great Ormon Street Hospital have decided to take Charlie off life support.

His parents have been understandably desperate, and reached out to Dr. Michio Hirano at Columbia University Medical Center in New York for an experimental treatment. They raised enough money to fund the trip. But the London hospital would not release Charlie, deeming the effort futile. British and European courts sided with the hospital, and against the parents.

Hirano says it is now too late for his treatment, always a longshot, to work.

Such is the cost of socialized medicine. When government takes primary responsibility for our health care, it is inevitable that we cede control over our medical decisions. Parents no longer get to decide what is in the best interests of their children.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration prevents terminal patients from trying unproven treatments, and slows approval of life-saving drugs.

The next frontier in medicine will be customizing treatment to the individual patient. Yet our health care policy is moving towards top-down bureaucracy.

That bureaucracy denied Charlie Gard his last, slim hope. His life support will be turned off days before his first birthday.

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