The Legal Significance of the Natural Affection of Charlie Gard's Parents

28 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2017 Last revised: 5 May 2018

Date Written: June 21, 2017


This essay will survey the importance of the concept of the natural affection of parents for their children in American law and explore the significance of the possible ongoing shift in the perceived basis of this natural affection from an understanding that natural affection is given by God to consideration of the possibility that there is no such thing as natural affection at all, with particular attention to the case of Charlie Gard. Section I will survey the various ways that Anglo-American law has relied on the existence of natural affection between parents and children. Having thus established the importance of natural affection to Anglo-American law, Section II will briefly explore some of the religious texts that have helped to define the concept of natural affection. Finally, Section III will explore the shifting conception of natural affection and what significance such a changed understanding might have for Anglo-American law, and especially for Charlie Gard and his family.

Keywords: Natural Affection, Family Law, Child Custody, Religion, Philosophy, Charlie Gard, Alfie Evans

Suggested Citation

Hensler, Louis W., The Legal Significance of the Natural Affection of Charlie Gard's Parents (June 21, 2017). Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, Vol. 17, No. 1, p. 59, 2017., Available at SSRN: or

Louis W. Hensler (Contact Author)

Regent University School of Law ( email )

1000 Regent University Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
United States

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