Health & Wellness / Politics

Alfie Evans and Health Care Tyranny: Yes, It Could Happen Here

health care medical medicineThe next time Sen. Bernie Sanders or his progressive Senate allies tout their proposal for total federal control of health care, just remember the case of Alfie Evans.

Consider the basic facts. The National Health Service, Britain’s “single payer” health care system, provides universal government coverage for British citizens. Alfie, a seriously ill 23-month-old toddler, is a beneficiary of the National Health Service, and, as of this writing, a “patient” of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England.

Hospital physicians have determined that Alfie is in a “semivegetative state.” Remarkably, however, hospital personnel have been unable to give Tom Evans and Kate James, Alfie’s parents, a diagnosis of exactly what’s wrong with their child.

The parents wanted to move little Alfie to other hospitals, in hopes that he would have a chance of getting better care. British officials denied the parents’ requests.

Hospital officials determined that Alfie’s case was hopeless, and decided to remove his ventilator and let the child die. Alfie’s parents, hopelessly guilty of hope, wanted to provide oxygen for their son on their own if the hospital would not do so. Hospital officials denied the parents the right to provide their own oxygen for their child.

British authorities determined that Alfie must remain in the hospital, and hospital officials determined to end medical treatment, remove the ventilator, and let the child die. In the meantime, Alfie’s parents went to the British courts for relief, as well as the European Court of Human Rights. These panels denied the parents’ petitions.

Alfie’s parents wanted to fly their son to Rome, Italy, where they could get a second medical opinion and try alternative treatments from Italian doctors that Alder Hey Children’s Hospital either would not or could not provide. A British court blocked that parental option, declaring that such a trip to the Rome would be “wrong and pointless.”

Finally, on appeal, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on April 20 issued its four-page decision, concluding: “The hospital must be free to do what has been determined to be in Alfie’s best interests. That is the law in this country.”

With the court’s ruling, hospital officials withdrew life support April 23, and expected the child to die quickly. After all, the British courts had formally and decisively ruled that the child’s condition was hopeless, and that he could not live without a ventilator.

Their problem: Alfie did not die. The boy started breathing on his own, and, as of this writing, is still breathing on his own.

That same day, Italy intervened. The Italian government granted Italian citizenship to Alfie, and agreed to fly the child to Rome for treatment at Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital. There would be no cost to the National Health Service or the British taxpayer. As of this writing, British authorities have refused these charitable overtures.

In correspondence with this writer, Joseph Morris, a former assistant attorney general of the United States and a law partner in a firm with offices in Britain and America, says the U.K. Supreme Court’s decision is itself beyond stunning:

The court holds that the preferences of the bureaucracy count for more than the judgments of Alfie’s parents. The court does not explain why this must be. The court’s opinion leads ineluctably to the conclusion that the views of the bureaucracy count for more than the views of a family in determining what is in the best interests of a child. … This is a dark hour for British justice. Parliament and the British judiciary stand indicted by their own actions and inactions of cruelty, intellectual dishonesty, and the high crime of hostility to life and liberty.

Morris is correct. British hospital officials may indeed be right in assessing Alfie’s condition as terminal, but British government officials are wrong in denying Alfie’s parents the right to try alternative medical treatment.

The sordid Alfie Evans saga holds larger lessons for all of us.  If you give government officials control over your health care, you give them control over your life. If you reduce medical judgments to political or bureaucratic decisions, you can expect arrogant and cruel, often heartless and incompetent, decisions.

Finally, if you assume that the laws of the state are superior to the laws of God, then, for all practical purposes, your God is the state. If there is no higher law over the power of the state—natural law, as Cicero and Aquinas, Locke and Jefferson would describe it—then, logically, state power is absolute. Welcome to tyranny.

And yes, it can happen here.

From - - by Robert Moffit

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Irving Tiffany
3 years ago

I strongly suspect that this limited article does not provide all of the facts of this case. Tragic as it is, extrapolating this unfortunate case from another country to the entire U.S. health system is very misguided. Instead of focusing on a horrible example, we should be using our efforts to define the type of healthcare that will best serve the citizens of the U.S. This is not a trivial exercise, as many who have put forth valiant efforts will testify. Our resources are not unlimited, and the resources devoted to healthcare are further limited to what we, as a country, are willing to commit. Our individual motives and priorities often change when we are personally affected. We need to arrive at a healthcare system that we would be willing to be under, as if the person being treated were ourselves, or a loved one.

David Antink
3 years ago

I am so sad this happened to him. Thank God I am an American . And a republican also.

Rex Whitmer
3 years ago

Alphi died yesterday. We can’t say he was murdered, but to most Americans, it would be felt that way! When a country’s citizens agree to becoming subjects to a socialized leadership, there isn’t a whole lot of difference to a mighty monarch’s rule! Only most often the Monarchy is a group who’ve worked their way into the to Echelon. These members become very autocratic in decision making. sometimes it is favorable other times it is unfavorable. Had they relented and allowed this couple to take their child to another nation, they would have bee subject to at least two different responses from the people they presided over. first had they allowed and the child either lived or died they would have been held in respect and their next judgement become more acceptable. As of now, when the child is now dead, they are held in fear and contempt by every couple with children. It would have no hurt them nearly as much as it now has. Big Brother is now looked upon as a livestock rancher, caring for his or her livestock worried only about profit or loss! No matter how it’s done, Socialistic Government to a Greater or lesser state all evolve into this mode of thinking. Persons under this sort of law, are no longer equal to their masters. The masters look only to what is profitable to THEM, with no consideration of their subjects. To them People are not citizens, even when they have been elected by these same citizens. By that elections they have morphed into god like decision makers! Socialization always has a group like this or worse yet a HITLER waiting in the wings to take over.

Brian B
3 years ago

Welcome to the American Democratic Party’s Healthcare Utopia. The Obama era Congress looked to the European “single payer” healthcare model to “save” their pitiful constituencies from their “incessant suffering” under the American Healthcare tradition. The Democratic Party is happy to announce that they will govern by these three rules: (1) They will kill you before you have a chance to be born if being born is inconvenient or problematic. (2) They will kill you after you are born if your existence is inconvenient or problematic. (3) They will make certain that all judicial appointments honor the first two rules. No exceptions.
Welcome to the safety of the Swamp.

3 years ago

Almost the same exact article you ran yesterday on this same subject titled “Government Run Healthcare Sentences Another Child to Death in the U.K. Warning Against Death Panels in the U.S.”. So my comment to that article also applies here.

Sadly, the NHS has to kill another defenseless child to demonstrate to the peons (or serfs if you prefer), including the parents of this poor child who only want an opportunity to take the child to another country that has already agreed to provide medical care for the baby, that “government knows best” and that government will NOT tolerate its decisions being questioned. I know dozens of people who lived in England most of the lives and not one of them has anything positive to say about the NHS. Most call it a bureaucratic h*ll on earth with the government micro-managing every decision all doctors make and routinely delaying for months or outright denying any treatment deemed “expensive” or “not on the recommended list of approved treatments” (meaning they don’t want to spend the money to provide the medical care the patient needs). This situation is far more frequent than you would think with the NHS or any other nation with what is referred to as socialized medicine. Delaying or withholding medical care is how such systems achieve their “cost savings”. The only reason this particular case is getting attention is that the parents went to court, drawing a lot of publicity to the case, and it involves a very young child.

I just find it amazing that even with examples like this being covered on a regular basis, most of the “useful idiots” in this country (Democrat voters and so-called “moderates”, who don’t have a clue how almost anything works in real life) continue to clamor for government run single payer in the United States. We truly have produced a generation of ignorant fools incapable of learning from the terrible experiences and mistakes of others happening all around us in the various socialist democracies around the world. The left in this country should be very proud (that was sarcasm folks) of how successful they have been, via their control of our public education system for decades, in producing such well indoctrinated and ignorant snowflakes, that stories like this won’t even register with 90 percent of them. In fact if you were to ask a lot of Millennials, I bet most would wonder why the parents of this poor child are even bothering to resist the will of the NHS in deciding this child must die. After all, they have been taught from grade school right through college, that socialism is the best form of government and that such a government obviously knows what is best for its people.

3 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Hi PaulE, a new Conservative friend of mine educated me that Progressives have been indoctrinated by the Major Media to 1. Ignore the facts. 2. Change the focus and 3. Call you names as the standard when trying to debate with them. There’s no way one can have a meaningful discussion with people who have no Common Sense!

3 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Just as an FYI, I printed out a few copies of this article to run a little test today. I gave a copy to three different Millennails that were part of a small group I was meeting with. I asked each one what they thought of the article and whether they thought the NHS was right to decide the child must die. Two out of three said the NHS should be obeyed, because the NHS was the government and the government must have a good reason for their decision. Socialist democracies, which the U.K. is one, are superior to our form of government from what they have been taught. So obviously the government must have good reasons for the decision. In other words, these snowflakes have been very well conditioned to the norms of socialism. One of those norms being blind adherence to authority, as long as that authority is following socialist principals.

The third Millennial said the article made her uncomfortable and she didn’t want to think about anything like that. As she put it, it is better to be ignorant of such things, than have to be concerned about such things was her rationale. That is a little, brief glimpse of America’s future voters. Nice huh?

Fernand Couture
3 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Join the discusFernandsion

Fernand Couture
3 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

the discussion This is a perfect example of Persons who absolutely believe that they
are omniscient, and can not allow other humans to do the best effort to render
a defenseless child a chance living a life that they, in their omniscient opinion, live.
Did they swear the Hippocratic oath to do no harm??? I pity their souls, if they have one,
for their missing that part of the normal human mind that does not respect another human
enjoying life. This is a definitely an ANIMALISTIC CHARACTER TRAIT THAT

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