UK Fight For Life Raises Questions About Parental Rights

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia-based medical ethics expert says the case of a gravely ill British infant whose parents are seeking to keep him alive, and flown to the United States for an experimental treatment has raised some serious questions about parental rights.

Father Tad Pacholczyk is with the National Catholic Bioethics Center here in Philadelphia.

He says the case of 11-month-old Charlie Gard, who is on a ventilator, raises serious questions about who should be the primary decision-maker when it comes to the well-being of children.

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Pacholczyk  said, “Should it be the courts? Should it be a large hospital system? Should it be an ethics committee? Or, should it be mom and dad?”

Paholczyk says the worldwide publicity surrounding attempts by the hospital and a British court to disconnect life-support could impact Thursday’s court decision on the infant’s future.

He says the Gard case also has sparked a debate throughout the U.S. about the rights of adult children in making end-of-life decisions for terminally ill parents.

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