Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family

Think like an editor: What happens if Trump's own plane takes Charlie Gard to Vatican?

Think like an editor: What happens if Trump's own plane takes Charlie Gard to Vatican?

The Charlie Gard story rolls on, of course, now super-charged by those magic words that inspire headlines -- "Donald Trump" and "Pope Francis."

It's interesting (and to me a bit depressing) the degree to which American media really seem to think this is story driven by American questions, which is what happens when a presidential tweet reshapes everything.

After recording this week's Crossroads podcast -- click here to tune that in -- it hit me that, in a way, I may be guilty of the same kind of thing, since I keep seeing this story through a religious-liberty lens.

True enough, podcast host Todd Wilken and I did spend quite a bit of time talking about church-state cases here in America that some are comparing to the Charlie Gard case. I'm talking about the agonizing court battles over the starvation death of Terri Schiavo, debates about the rights of Pentecostal parents who insist on faith healing (alone) and the complex legal battles over Jehovah's Witnesses and their doctrines rejecting blood transfusions.

However, the point I kept making was not that laws in England and the European Union should be the same as America. What interests me is why journalists don't seem to be interested in explaining to readers how religious-liberty concepts on the other side of the Atlantic affect this painful case.

A news cycle ago, we got a clue that we may have more coverage ahead that could deal with this. Consider this from a Sky News report:

Great Ormond Street Hospital says “claims of new evidence” in the treatment of Charlie Gard have prompted it to seek a new hearing at the High Court. In a statement, the hospital said: “We have just met with Charlie’s parents to inform them of this decision and will continue to keep them fully appraised of the situation.
“Two international hospitals and their researchers have communicated to us as late as the last 24 hours that they have fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment. “And we believe, in common with Charlie’s parents, it is right to explore this evidence.”

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