Alfie Evans is dead. A British court ruled that it was in his best interests to die, his parent’s wishes be damned. So, the nearly two-year-old toddler, who was suffering from a rare but undiagnosed neurological condition, was taken off life support, deprived of oxygen and water, and left to die.
Alfie was expected to die soon in any case, but his parents wanted to take their son to Italy for experimental treatments. Alfie never harmed anyone, never committed a crime, was no threat to the United Kingdom. Pope Francis lobbied for his release from the English hospital that was housing him. The Italian government granted him citizenship and had a plane waiting to take him to Italy. Yes, the boy may well have died soon anyway, but what could possibly be the harm with “allowing” his parents to try to save him, and extend their time on Earth with him, particularly since he wasn’t in any pain or agony?
This isn’t the first time something like this has occurred. In fact, just last year little Charlie Gard was prevented from seeking treatment in the United States, taken off life support, and left to die…courtesy of the British court system.
Many Americans believe that this kind of tragedy can’t happen here. Unfortunately, they are wrong. In 2015, 46-year-old Texan Christopher Dunn was diagnosed with an unidentified mass on his pancreas. Mr. Dunn was fully conscious and clearly expressed his desire to live, but the Houston Methodist Hospital’s (Obamacare-inspired) “death panel” decreed that he should die. Dunn had no insurance. The Meeting Chair of the Houston Methodist Bioethics Committee sent a letter to Dunn and his mother reading: “The Committee has decided that life-sustaining treatment is medically inappropriate for Chris and that all treatments other than those needed to keep him comfortable should be discontinued and withheld.” Chris passed away one month after the hospital discontinued his treatment.
Reports from the Italian newspaper La Nuova Bussola and Life Site News claim that Father Don Gabriele Brusco was removed from Alfie’s bedside by a Liverpool Archbishop because he was reminding those tending to Alfie that God was aware of their actions, something the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital staffers did not like. The Life Site News report claims that the Liverpool Archbishop never managed to traverse the seven kilometers between his residence and the hospital to visit Alfie and his parents, though he did find the time to fly to Rome.
What may be even sadder and more frightening, the Merseyside Police Department, whose jurisdiction includes Liverpool, issued a statement warning social media users that their posts concerning Alfie Evans “are being monitored and may be acted upon.”
The department’s Chief Inspector said: “Merseyside Police has been made aware of a number of social media posts which have been made with reference to Alder Hey Hospital and the ongoing situation involving Alfie Evans. I would like to make people aware that these posts are being monitored and remind social media users that any offences including malicious communications and threatening behaviour will be investigated and where necessary will be acted upon.”
In other words, “Perhaps you’d like to be a little more…careful…in how you address the government? Ve have vays of, how you say, making your life quite…uncomfortable, ja’? Nice family you got there…be a shame if something happened to them.” Shame on England.
After the court mandated that his son should die sooner rather than later, Tom Evans, Alfie’s father, was understandably perturbed, and threatened to prosecute the doctors involved in the situation. Lord Justice Andrew McFarlane at the Court of Appeal then accused him of “hostility” towards the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).
The soullessness and brutishness of Britain’s NHS is depressing and sickening, but, alas, not shocking. One way or another, subtly or boldly, as governments become far too large, they let their subjects know who really controls their loved ones, batting away the concept of Natural Rights as if it were nothing but an annoying gnat.
When governments get bigger, people necessarily get smaller.
When they dismiss or marginalize God, they do it only because they wish to take His place.
Alfie was the victim of an uncaring, hubristic government bent on exhibiting its power for all to see and fear.
May he shelter for eternity in the arms of a loving God.
May we all.