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Observations on the case of Charlie Gard
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  • Published on:
    Charlie Gard and the dictates of the heart
    • Federico Marchetti, Director Department of Pediatrics, Ravenna Hospital, AUSL della Romagna, Italy

    The story of Charlie, like that of the little Alfie, are events on which everything has been said, but without an adequate reflection on some basic principles that concern precisely the respect for life and the quality of care that daily thousands of health workers try to provide terminal patients. We can discuss for a long time what is best for the interest of the individual patient and family, but the value of the scientific method that constitutes the cornerstone of the medical profession can not be ignored.
    Likewise it is the duty of the community to uphold the moral integrity of clinical practice by refusing to provide treatments that do not meet a reasonable scientific justification based on evidence of efficacy. Not thinking according to these principles are also betraying the dictates of the heart and not only those of a reasonable science, which should always be at the service of the patient's good, even in the face of death, in a society that should be defined as "civil".
    If it is true that the heart has its reasons that reason does not know, it is the heart that, in the case of terminal children, makes the best choices.
    He wrote anonymously one of the two hundred health care workers who followed Charlie: "We did not want to lose Charlie, but it was our legal and moral obligation, our job, to become his spokesman when it was time to say enough".

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.