Friday, April 27, 2018

Killing Alfie Evans

To those of us who retain an ounce of human sympathy the situation makes no sense whatever. The case of Alfie Evans has attracted worldwide attention, as well it should. Alfie Evans might not celebrate his second birthday because the National Health Service of Once-Great Britain has decided that he has to die.

Apparently, Alfie is terminally ill. He is in a semi-vegetative state. The NHS is tired of paying for his treatment. I am not competent to judge the medical issues at hand. And yet, the question is not whether the NHS should or should not pay for more treatment. The question, decided by a court, was whether Alfie’s parents could take him to Rome where physicians were at the ready to try to treat him.

It will cost British taxpayers nothing. It will cost the NHS nothing. And yet, a British court has forbidden the parents from trying this last ditch treatment. It feels like the most abject cruelty. It might be futile, but why do judges decide this? The child has nothing to lose. Why has the British court system become a death panel? In a nation that prides itself on its no longer practicing capital punishment....

As of now, the ventilator has been turned off. The child is being denied food and water. And the British call themselves civilized?

The Independent Women’s Forum has the story:

Alfie Evans is a terminally ill 23-month-old child in Liverpool, receiving health care through the National Health Service (NHS). Suffering from epilepsy and a neurogenerative disease, he has been on a ventilator for about a year in a semi-vegetative state. The hospital recommended that active treatment be stopped – which would result in his death. The parents have desperately tried to transfer Alfie to another hospital where treatment might be continued, and have been repeatedly blocked; in fact, the hospital made efforts to remove the family’s parental rights in court, which they eventually walked back in the face of a substantial backlash.

In response, Alfie’s mother and father mounted a public relations campaign to try and save their son’s life by controlling his health care – a petition to release Alfie to a hospital of his family’s choosing garnered over 500,000 signatures, and the Vatican has offered to fly him to Rome to continue treatment. Sadly, British courts barred the family from taking their son out of the Alder Hey Hospital, despite the fact that Italian government granted Alfie Italian citizenship and is providing an air ambulance outside the hospital to transport him. On Monday, Alfie’s ventilator was turned off – yet somewhat miraculously, the child began to breathe on his own. Nevertheless, the hospital has withheld oxygen, water, and food from him as the legal wrangling continues.


JPL17 said...

Sorry for the length of this rant, but the conduct of the formerly Great Britain has gotten me wound up.

I think this barbaric treatment of Alfie Evans is the inevitable end-point of nanny-statism. It's bitterly ironic that the unofficial founding document of nanny-statism was the U.N.'s so-called "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" adopted in 1948. I say "ironic" because it contains the following provisions:

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 8.

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 15.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of ... sickness .....

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children ... shall enjoy the same social protection.

Please note that every one of the above provisions of the so-called "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" has been blatantly violated by Great Britain and its NHS and courts in their treatment of Alfie Evans and his parents. So how can Great Britain escape the condemnations of the U.N. and other self-appointed guardians of "universal rights"? Well, quite possibly because of the following provision of the very same "Universal Declaration":

Article 29.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

In other words, under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the individual's human rights end whenever the "general welfare" require it, as defined and determined by the State and the State alone.

So the silence of the U.N. and other guardians of "universal human rights" isn't surprising at all, and tells us all we need to know about the U.N.'s version of "universal human rights": namely, that they're a sham, pretty-sounding words masking the drive to an all powerful nanny-state that can to force a child to die and prevent his parents from intervening, all for the sake of the State.

JPL17 said...

Here's a thoughtful view, but more from a moral and natural law, rather than political, perspective:

Sam L. said...

As Paullie "The Beard" Krugman says, (words to the effect of) 'You keep hearing about the terrible health care in England. It's not true. The NHS is run by the government.'

Anonymous said...

This is not only due to the NHS per se, I think. In recent years, parental rights have eroded in the Former Great Britain. Very little cause is needed to file a complaint or to have children taken into care. Family court procedures are held in secret. Needless to say that their victims are usually the lower classes who are not part of the circles where one knows what is best for everyone else. And how could anyone claim that the NHS does not know best? Italians coming to the rescue? Unheard of.

The Independent Women's Forum mentions the case of Charlie Gard. Read it and weep. In 2015 there was the case of Ashya King. His parents disagreed with the treatment proposed by the hospital, they wanted the best and they managed to take their son to Spain. The Former Great Britain reacted with a European Arrest Warrant, originally created to fight terrorism. Parents immediately lost their parental rights in the UK, whereas Spain freed them after an initial arrest and Spanish authorities made sure everything was geared towards getting the best care for young Ashya - in the Czech Republic.

The British system knows no boundaries. In 2012, an Italian woman named Alessandra Pacchieri travelled from Italy to the UK for a short training course. She was pregnant and during her stay in the UK, she suffered a panic attack. She had been diagnosed as bi-polar but had stopped taking her medications because of the pregnancy. Alessandra Pacchieri did not get the help she requested, instead she was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and was prevented from returning to Italy. When the baby's due date was near, she was forced to undergo a caesarian. She wanted a natural birth, but the institution managed to get a court order for the caesarian. After the baby was born, the child was taken from her and put up for adoption.

One wishes the British State would turn its means and attention towards eradicating grooming gangs instead of this war against parents and children.

ASM826 said...

"We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…."

It is a truism that you get the government you deserve. It might be better said that you get the government you tolerate.

Deana said...

I can not believe there are no doctors or nurses who are not shaken by this.

I frequently advocate for palliative or hospice care to my patients when appropriate. I am very clear that it is something they should “find out more about” so “if and when the time comes, they know what all their options are.” I don’t ever want patients and families to think they always have to do everything we recommend.

But never ever is something like that for medical staff to decide. And this Alfie situation is 100x worse. I just can’t believe the British people are ok with this. Do they not realize the slippery slope they are teetering on??

It nauseates me to see government types so confidently insert themselves where only the parents should be. Outrage!

Anonymous said...

Alfie has died. RIP Alfie Evans.

His father wrote:

My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 2.30am.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this is the ultimate reality of government healthcare. Eventually everyone becomes a cost that will become a liability that the healthcare system will NOT want to bear.
One only needs to look to the VA to see what happens to military people who need healthcare. How many people have died because of the deficiencies of the VA? Far too many have suffered and died from the rules that governments will always impose on anything it touches. And those problems still go on today despite our betters knowing those problems exists Tells one how the federal government really feels about veterans. This neglect is rampant throughout the system.
Ever since I retired I have avoided VA hospitals like the plague and as experience has demonstrated for very good reasons. Not sure it still is true, but I used to think of VA hospitals as the "roach motel." Veterans go in, but don't come out. Sad is it not that a disabled veteran is afraid to utilize something that he/she has earned.
One has to wonder why government healthcare systems won't even allow others to bear the costs involved in providing, maybe, life saving care? What are they trying to hide or are they so enamored with their power they would ensure that this baby, any persons, to die? Too many questions that will not be answered if the government is the sole provider of healthcare. They seem to be as corrupt as the Department of Injustice and the FBI at the leadership level. The elites get power and citizens become deplorable to be used and abused. Nice two tiered system that works well for the denizens of DC?