I admit, my reaction to the plight of young Alfie Evans is colored by my experience with my own grandson, Joseph, who suffers from a similar disorder.
I see Joseph’s innocence in Alfie’s eyes, and I struggle with the marked physical resemblance between Alfie and Joseph at that age. I also vividly recall the doctors counseling my daughter to abort her pregnancy, to save her child from suffering.
“He will likely live 18 months, certainly no more than three years,” they told us solemnly. Joseph celebrated his 17th birthday in February of this year.
Regular readers of my columns will know his story…how the long sought diagnosis finally came after 16 years of trying, and how the discovery of his specific disorder (he is the only known case worldwide) revealed a function of human DNA previously unknown to science – a function the understanding of which is changing the way medicines are made. Human Action: The Scho... Best Price: $2.85 Buy New $10.98 (as of 09:35 EDT - Details)
I see Joseph’s smile on Alfie’s lips and recognize that look of trust and love. My heart is shredded over the arrogant, brutal indifference of the British National Health Service, willing to starve a child to death rather than risk another hospital proving its doctors wrong.
In a world distressingly familiar with violence, injustice, and hatred, a circumstance such as this – avoidable, by no means necessary – will torture our souls, as those charged with preventing man’s inhumanity toward man pivot from protector to executioner at the behest of misbegotten laws designed to empower the state at the expense of the citizen, in service to collectivism as god.
Like the Nuremburg laws that made the atrocities of the Nazis all perfectly legal, even obligatory, England has adopted legislation that permits the doyens of the NHS to abrogate the rights of both patient and family with little more than a formal request to supine family courts, increasingly eager to burnish the reputation of their empty-suit, single-payer health care system. Amazon.com Gift Card i... Buy New $50.00 (as of 08:40 EDT - Details)
Alfie suffers from a degenerative brain disorder of unknown origin, and it is the opinion of his medical team at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Pediatric Hospital that little of his brain remains and that further treatment or life-sustaining efforts would not be in the child’s “best interests.”
In Britain’s socialized medical system, second opinions are typically given by other NHS physicians, chosen not by the parents or the patient, but by the attending physician who gave the first opinion. Unsurprisingly, second opinions in the NHS rarely overturn the first. In this case, however, Alfie’s parents were able to force the hospital to release records for outside review.
Unsurprisingly, Alder Hey’s prognosis has not been confirmed by outside medical professionals. Indeed, numerous outside experts vehemently disagree with Alder Hey’s conclusions.
The disturbing truth is, the physicians of Alder Hey haven’t even attempted to determine the cause of Alfie’s distress, having decided within months of his birth that his life was not worth living.