Elegant Minute: Stop Judging Charlie's Parents

Elegant Minute: Stop Judging Charlie’s Parents

Posted on Posted in An Elegant Minute

If you have been paying attention to the news lately you would have heard about Charlie and his parent’s fight to bring him to the United States for experimental medicine. We need to stop judging because it does no good when it comes to real parenting issues such as death or life of a child.


This got people talking


This got people talking, from medical professionals to everybody else. They used social media to grab people’s attention and then his medical team wondered how ethical this was because the doctors were caught between and rock and a hard place. Seeing as they were not allowed to talk in depth about Charlie because it is against the doctor’s code. He was still a patient and it must be kept private between doctors and parents. The medical staff couldn’t agree with his parents about what was ‘right’ for Charlie.


People disagreed with the parents, assuming they were selfish and did not have Charlie’s best intentions in mind since there was no true way to tell if he was suffering. They were being told they were wasting time. They were being shamed and said they were doing it for attention.


It was getting a bit crazy.


Some highly regarded people such as the Pope even drew in his own opinion on the matter.


This little baby had brought the whole world together talking about what is right and what is wrong. This situation wasn’t white or black, so the decision for either side could be debated about.

Charlie had Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome


For those that don’t know too much, Charlie was born about a year ago, and after a couple months or so his parents were concerned for his growth and lack of movement, so they brought him to the doctors. Their otherwise healthy baby boy had a terrible incurable genetic syndrome. It was so bad, it deteriorated his muscles that soon he wasn’t able to breathe on his own. His brain was also  affected by the disease.


This very rare genetic disorder usually ends in infant death.


However, Charlie’s parents didn’t want to give up that easily and wanted to bring him to the States where there was this experimental drug that wasn’t the cure but there was a slight chance it could improve his quality of life.


Long story short, they didn’t get approval and social media got heavily involved. They raised over a million pounds on the crowdsurfing website. We could say without a shadow of a doubt, people were passionate about this!


I understand as a parent that accepting your child’s inevitable fate is something hard and every situation is completely different. Even in the same couple each parent could have a different view about it.


Parenting is hard!


But this post is not about what the right thing for them to do is. Because, frankly, no one really knows what the right thing to do was. His parents were coming from an emotional stand point and the doctors were thinking more medically and logically.


When I was at the hospital, and I was confused and stressed I had someone tell me “I am doing what I think is best, therefore, it is right”. As long as I am putting my true heart into it, if I am deciding on something, then I believe it is right.


So I can understand why the couple felt like they needed to keep fighting, because if they stopped- then who will fight for Charlie?


What I want to mention here is the other people. The one’s that started protesting or the ones that were giving death threats. Sure, you could say that they might have asked for it because they did put it on social media.  Once you put it out there, then you will get everybody’s unwarranted opinion. It can be terrible. It can be hurtful. But there are always a few who will back you up as well. I understand they were trying to raise funds for them to go to the States, but in matters dealing with material as sensitive as this, be prepared for the backlash.


I just think that other parents and people in general, need to stop judging other parents for their decisions. Some people would have been more at peace with their child’s disease and allow him to pass because they would be scared that he would be in such agonizing pain. Or some people could say he’s not in pain because his vitals don’t show it, and keep him around praying for a miracle. Whose to say is right?


As long as it is not for selfish reasons, I say listen to your gut and follow your heart.


Every parenting situation is different and it is already hard enough without including other people’s judgemental comments and hurtful actions.


We need to be in this together.


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2 thoughts on “Elegant Minute: Stop Judging Charlie’s Parents

  1. I feel so sad for this little family. As a mother of two children, I can unequivocally say parenting is a duty that we learn as we go along and trusting your God-given instincts is paramount. That is what Charlie’s parents did for him, I believe.

    Sometimes we may make decisions others don’t agree with, but unless you are up close and personal with the decision, there are nuances you may not be privy to. As an outsider looking in, I listen and try to keep my mouth firmly shut. As the person who may have made the decision, and is subjected to others’ pontification, I try to, again, listen and keep my mouth firmly shut when they speak their mind.

    As anyone reading this lovely blog would agree with, living elegantly is so much more than decorating a table or keeping a tidy house. I like to expand on the word elegant by using adjectives such as noble, stately, refined. When I am tempted to not keep my mouth firmly shut, I try to size up what I want to say with those adjectives. “Is this refined speech? Noble speech? Stately speech?” You could also add beautiful, loving, kind, gracious… My guess is that if we all used that as our standard, many of our words would never be uttered. I am not preaching to anyone other than myself here. I need to hear this sermon every day. (At least twice😉)

    Three cheers to a beautiful framed by elevated and elegant sweet words.

    1. Beautifully said Ann-Marie!

      I completely agree with everything you mentioned. It’s so easy to judge someone when you don’t know what the exact circumstances are. It is best to listen and to be the shoulder to cry on if need be, but unless it is in a dire situation where the child is being obviously mistreated then I say stay quiet and only give “advice” only when asked for (and still tread lightly).

      It’s okay, I work with the public so I am always repeating that sermon to me many times a day! I love that I am not the only one that struggles with it because it makes me feel like I am not alone!

      I absolutely loved this comment! It was perfectly written! Thank you 🙂

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