Britons never shall be slaves?
Katie Gollop, Q.C. is lead attorney of the Great Ormond Street Hospital legal team, which has been fighting for eight months to terminate the life of Charlie Gard. Mrs. Gollop represents the legal position that Charlie Gard needs to die. Her team successfully argued that case in the British courts and then submitted the ruling in favor of killing Charlie to a higher European territorial judicial system.
Mrs. Gollop is neither a physician nor a member of Charlie's family, but she has concluded that further treatment would leave the boy in a "condition of existence," which she indicates is distinct from having a human life. Mrs. Gollop and the mindset she represents have an economic interest that sick babies should be deprived of medical treatment. And they have a political interest that the government gain final and ultimate control over the lives of children.
The claim of administrative law to determine whether a living person has not life, but mere existence is morally and philosophically identical to slavery.
It is often said that the cruelest aspect of slavery as it was practiced in the United States was the right of a slave owner to separate children from their parents whenever it served the owner's economic interest. There were complicated regulations regarding the treatment of slaves. But because slaves were understood to have not lives or families of their own, but mere existence, there was no law preventing slave owners from separating babies from their mothers and fathers. Historians estimate that one third of children in slavery were removed from their parents before the age of six.
The most famous formerly enslaved abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, wrote that slave owners purposefully separated children from their mothers to prevent the development of affection. This extreme inhumanity was used to instill utter helplessness and impose absolute power over the mind of the enslaved person. Harriet Beecher Stowe emphasized the immorality of separating families in her famous novel and in other writings.
The Magna Carta states, "No free man shall be seized [arrested] or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions ... except by the lawful judgment of his peers." The person of Charlie Gard has been seized by Great Ormond Street Hospital. Christopher Gard and Connie Yates have been stripped of their rights to care for their son without any charges preferred against them and without lawful judgment of their peers. The only reasonable conclusion is that the Gard parents are not free men.
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves? Whatever the next step for Charlie Gard may, Britons are slaves already.