Alfie Evans the British infant who had been suffering from an undiagnosed neurodegenerative disorder which had left him in a semi-vegetative state has died. This was after the National Health Service operated Alder Hey Children’s Hospital obtained a court order to have his life support withdrawn against the will of his parents who were legally stripped of their parental rights.
The plight of Alfie had gained worldwide attention for the fact that doctors and health specialists, despite their Hippocratic Oath appeared to do everything they could to make sure Alfie died. So powerless were his own parents they were even denied by the court permission to take Alfie to Italy where he could continue to receive palliative care so he would no longer be a burden on the British taxpayer.
The European Court of Human Rights refused to hear the case deeming there to be no violation of human rights present. Alfie’s parents were allowed to take him home where they kept him alive with mouth to mouth resuscitation.
The hospital and doctors claimed further “treatment” for Alfie “unkind and inhumane” and in their opinion, there would be “no hope” for him. So they took the view he would be better off dead.
The callous nature of the treatment of Alfie’s case by the medical authorities and the British government has horrified many and led to protests outside the hospital. It has been viewed as a black and white example of how the culture of death is now pervading the west. Where aborting a child and euthanising the elderly is considered a right but not access to life-saving treatment or experimental drugs.
It has also been highlighted as demonstrating one of the flaws with socialised medicine where given it is the government who runs the health system, they get to decide who is worthy of treatment and who is a drain on government resources. Death panels are a very real thing.
In a free market healthcare system if Alfie’s parents could not afford to keep him on life support the outpouring of support for them would ensure there would be more than enough funds to keep him alive in the hope of finding treatment.
Parental rights have also been eroded in this case with the government deciding they know what is in the child’s best interest and do not value the wishes of the parent.
All round it is a sad day for Britain and for fostering a culture of life and hope. Rest in peace Alfie. Your plight and that of your parents won’t be forgotten.