When we read the news, today, almost all the headlines read: “Alfie Evans dies at Alder Hey hospital after life support withdrawn . . .
It brings to a end the stalwart fight by Alfie’s family to give him a chance at life. Instead of releasing the child to his parents in order to get a second opinion, they were in court many times trying to win the right to be parents and do what they felt was right for their son. The world stood with them but the UK system gave them police guards which were not to protect the baby but to insure he was not taken to another hospital for reevaluation. Money was not an object as Italy, Poland, Germany, and China made offers. Italy made Alfie an Italian citizen in order to get him to Rome, with the Pope’s blessing, to seek treatment. On all counts, Alfie was refused a chance.
In spite of being basically declared a ‘vegetable’, Alfie breathed on his own. He responded to his parents’ voices. He stretched and even had smiles. This did not move the doctors who still refused him life. His parents wanted to take him home to have him to themselves and their family for however long he would be with them. The doctors refused.
Well, today the Alder Hey doctors got their wish and Alfie went home to heaven. It seems that the UK is getting good at preventing second opinions or allowing families to seek the best options for their babies. In a country supposedly as civilized as the UK, why were these tactics necessary? Why did they fight so hard to insure the death of a child?
So, when we read the news, today, understand the headlines do not say that little Alfie passed quietly from this life so much as Alder Hey hospital removed his life support. Naturally, the hospital sent their condolences but it is easy to be kind once you’ve gotten what you want.
The world should never forget the three, little boys who had their lives taken away from them in the UK medical system: Charlie, Isaiah, and Alfie – mandated by the hospital with the blessing of the courts to die. Prayers should continue for these three families as they probably relive their own agony as the next child gets sentenced to death.
A happy day for one couple in the United Kingdom, today, as a royal couple welcomed a baby boy this morning. A blessing for them that their child is healthy and they will soon be able to return home with their baby.
In another part of England, there is a large army of police surrounding Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. The police are there to guard a child rather than protect a child who has been a patient in that hospital for months. Today was to be the day the child was basically murdered by the doctors there because they feel he has no chance of a normal life. He have never been diagnosed by the doctors from what I understand but their ‘cure’ is to kill the little boy.
However, the parents are not in agreement with this outcome for their beautiful baby boy who does respond to his father’s voice, stretches on his own, sucks happily on a pacifier, opens his eyes and focuses on his mother’s face. The doctors say it is merely reflexes and it would be a kindness to end the toddler’s life. The parents have been fighting in the courts for months but the judges are supporting the doctors’ intent to bring this baby’s future to an end before he has had a chance to find out if a future is possible.
Is there no one in the world who cares? Google Alfie’s Army and see the masses of people who have been protesting, raising money for legal fees, and supporting the young parents and their little son’s right to have a fighting chance at life. Even more heartening is the concern publicized by the Pope, Father Pavone, a pro-life activist and two hospitals in Italy who are ready, willing, and able to bring the baby to Italy at a moment’s notice. Still, the Alder Hey doctors prefer ending Alfie’s life and thoroughly breaking his loving parents’ hearts.
To show how adamant they are at breaking down the parents and making life difficult for them in what they hope to be Alfie’s last days, they have removed the parent cot in Alfie’s room so they have no place to hold and cuddle their baby or catch a nap during their lengthy vigils with their baby. The hospital also changed their protocol just for Alfie and family by not allowing relatives to hold him unless the staff can remove his ventilator.
You have to wonder what secret this baby boy is hiding that the doctors refuse to release him to another team of doctors who might actually make a diagnosis and give him a chance at a future with his family. Are they embarrassed that they have never even diagnosed Alfie? Are they hiding something they don’t want revealed? Or, are they just angry doctors who don’t want their authority questioned and are pulling their weight by killing a child?
So, while some of the UK rejoices in a new Prince in the royal nursery, a young couple is living minute to minute since the courts have given the Alder Hey staff permission to separate a beautiful child from his life. This is the third publicized baby controversy in the last year . . . the first two died with the ‘help’ of the hospital.
It is becoming a ‘normal’ thing in the UK, this allowing babies to die by removing them from life support. The parents of these children find countries and hospitals that will take their babies and give them a chance yet the UK courts and doctors won’t let this happen. They are treating their populations like subjects rather than citizens.
It is hard to understand the continuing mind set. Why would the UK doctors and courts take away the parental rights? It isn’t cost because good people have provided money for the court case and helping them transport the child to a another country and welcoming hospital. Could it be the UK doctors are afraid another medical facility might find a cause that they have failed to diagnosed? Last I read, Alfie Evans doesn’t even have a solid diagnosis yet after all that time on life support.
Now, another, Baby Isaiah, has been removed from life support and three hours later (at this writing) is still breathing on his own. Wouldn’t that be a indication he might need more aggressive care than let a distraught family sit by his bed to see how long he lives before he leaves their arms here on earth?
And, let’s not forget little Charlie Gard who initially brought this all to public attention. When it looked like another diagnosis might have helped him, his case was kept in court until his health seemingly granted the doctors’ decision that he die.
This should be a wake up call to people in the United States and Canada that this sort of thing could easily become a norm here, too. Remember 15-year old Justina Pelletier who was held against her and her families wishes at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Meanwhile, we have to remember all the children who are sick and need medical care and that the doctors in charge of the cases have compassion and respect the choices made by the families.
Does anyone remember little Charlie Gard? He was a British child in a UK hospital. He was never truly diagnosed but when the parents wanted to transfer him to specialists in the United States and some other countries who invited the family there to see what could possibly be done, the courts took over the case and made the decision to stop life support successfully overruling any parental rights.
Soon after Charlie Gard’s death, another case came to light and, again, the parents of Alfie Evans have been fighting relentlessly with the courts and hospital to have their child transferred to a medical facility that would review his case and possibly help him. Videos have shown the child reacting to his father’s voice, touch, and attention. After days of video footage and testimony from the parents of Alfie, the court has ruled in removing life support.
You have to wonder about a doctor that is so prideful of his control that he can’t let the parents transfer their child to another facility that might have the answer to his problems. What should it matter to the stubborn medical staff in the UK whether the parents want to seek second opinions or not. What kind of undercurrent is going through that medical system that a doctor can determine your baby’s day of death because he says it is useless when other hospitals in the world have opened their doors and hearts to this young family.
Even a hardened criminal often gets a stay of execution but a helpless child is going to have to be deprived of life because a doctor and seemingly flawed justice system doesn’t have an ounce of justice for this young couple and their baby. I guess that in the UK you can have children but you can’t make decisions for them.