Editorial roundup

The Toledo Blade, July 17

A British judge is reconsidering his decision that Charlie Gard should die. Charlie is 11 months old; he’s seriously, neurologically ill; and his parents want to try an experimental treatment. But doctors at a British National Health Service hospital said he’d be better off dying — and Justice Nicholas Francis has ruled that Charlie should, as many reports have put it, “be allowed to die with dignity.”

But there is no dignity in having the state decide your life isn’t worth saving.

The courts found that Charlie was probably suffering, and that the treatment his family wanted to try wouldn’t help. “He has no quality of life and no real prospect of any quality of life,” the hospital said.

But Charlie’s father, Chris Gard, said the boy would “fight to the very end.”

When to give up on life is an intimate, personal matter. It’s for an individual or family to decide — and in the case of a baby, who cannot possibly choose, his parents must. Doctors and judges have no business overriding what Charlie’s family wants.

The family may be grasping at wisps of hope. But that is no excuse for their government to dispel those wisps and take away whatever chance of a meaningful life Charlie has.

Online: http://bit.ly/2uuXLfc

The Sandusky Register, July 12

Erie County Health Department officials were shocked to discover about half of the children they voluntarily tested at a recent Wightman Wieber Kids Festival had high levels of lead in their blood.

Of the 90 kids tested, health officials were expecting maybe five would yield such high lead level results.

Instead, 41 children had high levels of lead in their blood, according to the tests.

Were the tests valid? If so, what is the source of this lead? Are the results a statistical anomaly, or an indication of an even bigger problem?

Clearly, the shocking results raise more questions than answers, but one thing is for sure — more testing of children is needed.

Experts say lead poisoning rarely produces immediate symptoms, but young children’s developing brains can be affected and can be permanently damaged.

There simply is no “safe level” of lead exposure, and adverse outcomes of lead poisoning are usually not known until a child reaches 6 or 7 years old. By then, it is often too late and the damage has been done.

We encourage Erie County Health Department and City of Sandusky officials to develop a testing program to get more answers.

Online: http://bit.ly/2u12p2f