Does Charlie Gard deserve to be taken off life Support?



Charlie's death was a case that took the public aback by the decision taken at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London. Charlie  Gard suffers from a rare disease called mitochondrial DNA disease, a malady that engenders the doctors at Great Ormond Street hospital in London to reach a unanimous decision to turn off his life support as there is no treatment available to treat him. According to the doctors involved, they have weighed his chances of recovery apparently his chances of survival are bleak. Because of this, his parents were denied the application of an alternative therapy which is possible in the United States. This paper thematizes bioethics principles to judge the decisions taken by the doctors in London. I intend to argue that their decision is incompatible with our conceptual idea of a free society. This paper will conclude that one significant principle of bioethics/liberal democracy was ditched, ergo making their decision questionable.


Ethics;medical ethics;bioethics;postmodern society;medicine

Full Text:

View PDF


Ackerman, T. (1982). Why Doctors Should Intervene? The Hastings Center Report, 12(4). doi:

Adu, A. (2017). Charlie Gard's parents donate £1.3million fund-raised for treatment to help save other sick children's lives. The Sun.

Beauchamp, T., & Childress, J. (2009). Principles of biomedical ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chen, H. L., Cai, J. Y., Zha, M. L., & Shen, W. Q. (2018). Prenatal smoking and postpartum depression: a meta-analysis. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol, 1-9. doi:10.1080/0167482X.2017.1415881

Children Act 1989, (1989).

Fouzder, M. (2017). Baby's parents 'struggling to understand' life support ruling. Law Society Gazette. Retrieved from

Fulford, K., Gillett, G., & Soskice, J. (1994). Medicine and moral reasoning. England: Cambridge University Press.

HUDOC - European Court of Human Rights. (2017). Retrieved from{"itemid":"001-175359"

Pallarito, K. (2008). Supplement: Art Caplan. The Scientist. Retrieved from

Rabin, R. (2017). New York Hospital Offers to Treat British Baby With Rare Disease. Retrieved from

Walker, P. (2017). Charlie Gard case: May says hospital will consider any offers. The Guardian.

Yates, & Anor. (2017). Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children NHS Foundation Trust & Anor. Retrieved from



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Abiola Bamijoko

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright © POSTMODERN OPENINGS | A LUMEN Peer Reviewed Open Access Journal |

Journal covered in: Web of Sciences (WOS); EBSCO; ERIH+; Google Scholar; Index Copernicus; Ideas RePeC; Econpapers; Socionet; CEEOL; Ulrich ProQuest; Cabell, Journalseek; Scipio; Philpapers; SHERPA/RoMEO repositories; KVK; WorldCat; CrossRef; J-GATE