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Senator Ted Cruz has tried to make political points about Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old child currently living on life support at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Until Monday, Gard's parents had been in a legal battle to allow Charlie to travel to the USA for experimental treatment, against the advice of his doctors at Great Ormond Street.

Charlie has encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS), a rare genetic condition. The brain damage means he cannot breathe unaided, and cannot open his eyes or move his arms or legs.

The High Court ruled in favour of the decision by Great Ormond Street. This was appealed, and again the court ruled in favour of the hospital's decision.

However, the case was give a fresh hearing 'in light of claims of new evidence' regarding a new form of therapy.

This ended on Monday when Charlie's parents withdrew their case. An MRI scan of Charlie's brain showed he was suffering from severe brain damage, meaning it would have been too late to use the experimental treatment.

In a statement outside the High Court, Charlie's mother Connie Yates said:

To let our beautiful little Charlie go...is the hardest thing we'll ever have to do.

Yates and Charlie's father Chris Gard have since entered another legal dispute regarding whether or not Charlie will be able to die at home or in a hospice.

The high profile nature of the case has attracted attention and comment from many in the world of politics.

On 3 July President Donald Trump tweeted an offer of support from the US for Gard and Yates.

On Tuesday Senator Ted Cruz, (who lost to Donald Trump in the 2016 fight for the Republican party nomination) chipped in with this comment on the courts' decisions.

The death penalty and repealing Obamacare

Opponents of the 'Obamacare' health insurance system, such as Cruz, have frequently cited 'death panels' as a reason to keep the state out of health care provision.

Cruz's argument against the state having a say over life and death seemingly forgets his own support for the death penalty.

The state from which Cruz is one of two Senators is Texas, which has had the death penalty consistently for 43 years.

Cruz himself has specifically been favour of judges getting involved in death penalty cases.

As a clerk for the Chief Justice William H Rehnquist in 1996, Cruz's memos to the head of the US Supreme Court ardently advocated capital punishment.

In Cruz's book, a Time for Truth (2015)he explicitly stated his support for the death penalty, and as Texas Solicitor General he argued five death penalty cases in front of the US Supreme Court.

As well as seeming to bring the tragic death of a child into the Obamacare row, Cruz was apparently ignorant of his own principles on the state choosing life or death for its citizens.

Mr Cruz voted 'Yes' to repeal-and-replace Obamacare on Tuesday - he has been a staunch opponent of the Affordable Healthcare Act which provides healthcare to millions of Americans, including those with debilitating illnesses.

The Washington Examinerreports that Mr Cruz (along with Republican Mike Lee) introduced an amendment this week to entice conservatives to vote in favour of a Senate healthcare bill.

Consulting firm Avalere found that compared to current law, the amendment introduced would lead to 4.1 million people without healthcare insurance by 2022.

Cruz's so called “Consumer Freedom Option,” would allow insurers that sell Obamacare policies to also offer vastly reduced polcies as well.

HT BBC, New York Times

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