25 April, 2018

Alfie Evans ‘breathing unaided’ after life support removed

Alfie Evans ‘breathing unaided’ after his life support removed - and still, the UK courts refuse to let the parents take him to another hospital that is willing to try and treat the child's underlying medical condition. Why? What possible harm is there in letting little Alfie be transferred to the hospital in Italy which has offered to treat him? If they fail to succeed in curing him, then he will die as assuredly as he will in England. But if they succeed, then not only Alfie and his family wins a medical miracle, so will any future children who might be afflicted with a similar illness. What is the upside in refusing his parents this request when measured against such positive possible outcomes? I very honestly cannot fathom why the British courts are ruling the way that they are in these children's cases. It makes no sense to me.

It would be one thing if we were talking about an adult who left instructions (or told more than one or two people) that they wouldn't want such extreme efforts made to prolong their life. But an infant cannot make such a request. It's up to his or her parents to make it on their behalf. Yet here we have the courts ruling that the authority to make such a medical decision doesn't rest in the parent's hands but rather is held by the State. Thus the State takes to itself the right to make that final decision of life or death of any innocent child, for if they can do it to Alfie, they can do it to any other child in similar circumstances. Perhaps even to a child within your own family.

So let me ask you: If Alfie was your child and a world-renowned hospital offers even the faint hope of a possible treatment, how would you react if your government presumed to tell you that you could not take her or him there? If instead, the government orders the immediate cessation of all life support, prohibiting you from giving your child something to eat or drink to ensure they die asap, how would you feel? Unless you are seriously psychotic, I believe you would move heaven and earth to give your child every possible chance to be treated and recover so long as there was some hope for success. It's something that speaks to us on such a primal level: to protect our progeny is part of who were are as a species. It is not something that should ever be so capriciously and wrongfully violated by a State as has been wrought on Alfie and his parents by the courts in the UK.

Hell, Italy has granted him full citizenship in a bid to convince British authorities to transfer his custody and medical care to them so that he can at least have a chance at life. If a whole country (Italy), a crotchety old priest (me), and any normal parent (you?) can see it's right to give him that chance, don't you think that at least one competent British jurist would see the same thing and grant the parent's request to take Alfie to Rome for treatment asap?

Why must Alfie die?

Alfie Evans ‘breathing unaided’ after life support removed | CatholicHerald.co.uk

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