Alfie Evans: Another Child Sacrifice on Britain's NHS Altar
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.
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.
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.
As revealed by the attorney for Alfie's father, Tom Evans, the position of the NHS is indeed far uglier than it appears at first blush. As reported by multiple British newspapers:
While the medical team have maintained that young Alfie cannot survive absent the use of a ventilator, (they predicted he would die within minutes of being removed from the ventilator, and as of the time of this writing, young Alfie has been breathing unaided for more than 60 hours) they have further argued that he would have an "insufficient quality of life," even if he managed to survive.
We do not challenge the medical report ... [but it is] another thing to say that your life is futile because your quality of life is not deemed sufficient[.]
Like the parents of Charlie Gard – another child similarly condemned to death by a preening NHS – Alfie's parents disagreed with the hospital's plans to abandon further treatment and remove life support from their son. They began to investigate alternatives for care outside the NHS system, never suspecting that the state-run system would see their love for their child as a threat to the NHS and would respond with ferocity.
Alder Hey's physicians have been unrelenting in their abandonment of this child, having decided more than a year ago, in February of 2017, that Alfie should quit embarrassing them by surviving in spite of receiving no treatment and get on with the business of the afterlife.
Since making that decision, the hospital has refused to perform even the most common of procedures for a patient with Alfie's needs, such as a tracheostomy to facilitate easier breathing or a gastrostomy feeding tube for nutrition and medication.
For all this time, Alfie has been fed through a nasal tube, never intended as a permanent solution, but rather as a stopgap (weeks, not months) designed to be used until a g-tube can be placed.
The medical treatment Alfie has received is abominable, as a direct result of the hospital's decision, and subsequent criminal obstinacy toward anyone suggesting that their prognosis might be in error.
To hear the barristers for Alder Hey wax poetic about the "first class care" given Alfie by the NHS (parroted by judge after judge in court proceedings) is indeed revolting – the British equivalent of Baghdad Bob. In truth, they have made no attempt to diagnose Alfie's condition, preferring instead to place him on heavily sedating anti-seizure medications, then claiming that his lethargy is further evidence of his irreversible decline.
The world is witness to slow-motion murder. The perpetrators are the NHS, and the motive is not pecuniary, but rather a perverse form of institutional vanity.
Italy has conferred citizenship to Alfie, and there is a medical air ambulance standing by at the request of the pope to fly Alfie to the Vatican's children's hospital, Bambino Gesù, where Alfie can be treated.
But while socialism requires citizen confidence to operate, it will settle for coercion to gain compliance. This is why Alder Hey refuses to release #Alfie. Should the boy survive outside NHS care, their "infallibility" would be shattered, and (gasp!) the sheep may begin to question their shepherd.
Collectivist schemes of medicine are no more sustainable (or just!) than collectivist schemes of societal order. Both require submission, even unto death.
Once that logic is accepted as legitimate, the line will be pushed back farther and farther in future cases until a mere diagnosis is sufficient cause for the state to "act in the patient's best interest."
I can find no difference between the rationalizations of the Nazis and the arguments being made against Alfie Evans by the NHS.
A great many evils are cloaked in "compassion"; indeed, it is a rarity when evil stands naked before its victim. Nowhere is this truth more evident than in the "compassion" of Alder Hey Hospital toward Alfie Evans.
Would that all of Britain rose up and demanded the release of Alfie before death has its way. I pray for him, and for the charred souls of those who will be left behind – living victims of unconscionable state cruelty.
The only "life unworthy of life" is that of the arrogant, self-congratulatory medical murderers of the NHS and their judicial enablers. May God's judgment be realized in the fullest.
The author has written extensively on the vagaries of the British NHS and other similarly constituted single-payer systems. He welcomes visitors to his website, www.dailyherring.com.