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Law Prof On Charlie Gard Case: ‘Children Do Not Belong To Their Parents’

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A law professor stated Monday that “children do not belong to their parents” when discussing the Charlie Gard case.

Law professor Ian Kennedy, who teaches health law, policy and ethics at the University College London, made the remark in a column for The Guardian.

“Recognise that children do not belong to their parents,” said Kennedy. “Second, when a claim is made that parents have rights over their children, it is important to step back and examine the language used.”

“We need to remind ourselves that parents do not have rights regarding their children, they only have duties, the principal duty being to act in their children’s best interests,” argued the law professor. “If we are concerned with the language of rights, it is, of course, children who have rights; any rights that parents have exist only to protect their children’s rights.”

The judge in Charlie Gard’s case will make a decision Wednesday regarding whether he will die in the hospital or at home.

Kennedy contests that while parents’ views concerning what is best for their child should “usually” be honored, society should “intervene,” via the judicial system, if experts disagree.

The professor frames his opinion as the stance of reason, which operates with “principles and rules” determined collectively as a society. He characterizes the alternative as a battle between the “heart and emotions” of different individuals, a scenario in which he asserts there would be no clear resolution.

“Here, in Charlie Gard’s case, the call has been to keep the courts out; they don’t understand,” said Kennedy. “Only the parents should decide: let passion prevail.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to University College London to obtain comment from Kennedy, but received none in time for press.

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  • Joseph Chiara

    I think children belong to themselves when they are old enough, by law in many cases this is at age 18. Their parents are their guardians and providers until that point unless they are for one reason or another, incapacity, abuse, whatever, relinquish or abandon that responsibility.

    Children certainly do not belong to the State, or to judges employed by the State, however pompous, pretentious, egotistical, and misguided the State and it judges are. This child had a small chance at life that would have cost no one other that those ready and willing to incur the expenses, and what could have been learned may have saved other children down the road. The judges condemned this child to death in a country which I believes does not have a death penalty except, of course, if you are a defenseless child whose life is under consideration by some of the biggest assholes in the world, and now they may not even let him go home to die. This is nothing less than official kidnapping, torture, and gross abuse of power.

  • Fiona McNicholl

    So who do they belong to then when they are under 18 Government pedo rings.

  • Fiona McNicholl

    The judge is in breach with international law.

  • Joseph Chiara

    What does this mean? This is an infant, there are no accusations of pedophilia that I am aware of. What do you mean “they are under 18 Government pedo rings”? I am not sure what you mean and don’t think criminal activity changes what I said. Criminal activity by the government is still criminal and would void any legitamate claim.

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  • jubadoobai

    Crazy.