Bioethics News

Video. Julian Savulescu argues in favour of an experimental treatment for Charlie Gard

We present these videos and selected ideas, wich give a short clear bioethics review of Charlie Gards’s case. Our Observatory fully agrees with his conclusions.
 Julian Savulescu (Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, Oxford), argues that Charlie Gard, who suffers from an extremely rare genetic condition called MDDS, should receive the proposed experimental treatment. According to Professor Savulescu, It’d be a reasonable price to pay for a chance of having a life that is worth living. However, there are limits to what babies like Charlie could be subjected to, and there should be a societal debate about what these limits should be, see here “Charlie Gard Legal Decision. Questionable on Secular Ethical Grounds”

In another article by Savulescu, titled “The Moral of the Case of Charlie Gard: Give Dying Patients Experimental Treatment … Early”,  concluded:

Moral of the Story

This case might be a very good example of the detrimental consequences of the act-omission distinction. Because doctors and others are more reluctant to withdraw medical treatment than withholding treatment, often a trial of treatment is not commenced (because of a fear it will have to continue indefinitely). This has disastrous consequences in denying people a chance and also failing to gather more accurate information about prognosis. The best course of action, in this case, would have been to commence experimental treatment while Charlie was anyway being ventilated during various court processes.

There is an important lesson to be drawn. Where there is contention about an experimental treatment that is requested by a dying or severely ill patient (or their representative), it should be provided with a plan for active withdrawal.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.