“The case of 11-month-old Charlie Gard continues to garner international attention and pleas for his life from Donald Trump and Pope Francis,” says Anne Rathbone Bradley in this week’s Acton Commentary. “Cases like Charlie’s, while exceptional and rare, are important because they establish precedents regarding the relationship between the individual and the state.”
When we think about it in this way, Great Ormond Street Hospital – which has been the target of much criticism – is actually almost an incidental player. The London children’s hospital is responding to the rules of the game — the institutional legal structure — and we can expect it to act according to the incentives those rules set forth.
Institutions and incentives also play a key role in creating an environment where Charlie’s case can have a happier ending — where human ingenuity can be freed to achieve disease prevention and cure.