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Alfie Evans: Power hunger and the death of the innocent

As in the Charlie Gard case, so here.

In my post on Charlie Gard, I said this:

Since the culture of death adamantly denies the distinction between ordinary and extraordinary care, and since medical kidnap is occurring in the U.S...., it is as inevitable as anything political can be that eventually a minor child will be removed from his parents' or guardians' custody for their insistence that he receive food and water and that he will be dehydrated to death by the state.

I was speaking there of the U.S., but this scenario is happening now in England.

Alfie Evans turned out to be able to breathe on his own. So the hospital is giving him only minimal hydration and no food. The judge refuses to let his parents take him home less (heaven forbid) they flee the country with him.

This is now about power. I believe that the hospital and courts will keep Alfie until they make sure he dies. If it takes weeks for him to slowly starve and dehydrate to death, they will wait it out. The parents won't be allowed to take him anywhere else unless they have (says a doctor) a "sea change" in their attitude.

Who owns your child in England? The state. And they will decide when he dies, if it means starving him to death.

I'm glad to see that even some liberal acquaintances on social media are questioning this draconian attitude, asking why the hospital and courts are insisting on keeping Alfie rather than letting him go. But this has been the attitude in England for a long time, and I believe that it is coming to the U.S. as well.

Pray for Alfie and his mom and dad.

Culture of death? What culture of death?

Comments (5)

I'm with Matt Walsh who tweeted the parents have a moral right to do whatever is necessary to save their child. He mentioned a helicopter waiting on standby to fly Alfie to Italy. Sure the parents could not reasonably get their child to that helicopter on their own, but are there not 20 decent men in Britain willing to help? The authorities won't likely shoot them all dead so they can ensure they get to murder Alfie too.

Children get murdered when an evil, tyrannical system is unleashed on a compliant population lacking in courage.

These parents at least seem to have that courage, they just needed a small army willing to rebel with them.

Am I too cynical for entertaining the possibility that officialdom in the UK is insisting upon this child's being starved (or asphyxiated) to death under its watch merely to avoid the dishonor and humiliation that would be brought to bear on it if he were to be kept alive in some other place? That the prospect of his becoming an Italian citizen, cared for by doctors and nurses there, was seen as too large an indictment of the utopian wonders of British socialized medicine?

There seems to me to be little other rational basis for standing guard over him and insisting that no one take him to Italy, or Poland, or even to his home, except for the international shame that it would bring to the NHS and even to the particular judge hearing the case. By killing him behind closed doors, out of sight and under the eyes of His Majesty's constabulary, they can continue to claim that it could never have been otherwise, and that his parents were simply out of their minds, and that no medical intervention can have been justified on his behalf.

The scene they seem to be most interested in avoiding is one in which the judgment of NHS medical professionals and British jurists is proved to be fallible. As has become horrifyingly manifest, they are not actually very interested in avoiding a scene in which he dies an agonizing and squalid death.

I believe there actually was a case in which that happened. I don't have the time to look up the name right now, but parents actually did escape the country with a British child and sought medical treatment abroad for cancer, and the child survived. There was a big manhunt at first, the parents were treated legally as kidnappers, but I believe the Brits have finally dropped the whole thing. Though if the family is smart, they'll probably stay abroad. I'm sure the Brits would like to avoid that again if they could.

But in honesty, I think it's more fundamental than that. Even if they aren't worried at all that Alfie would do any better in another country, even if they are convinced that he would die in a week (or whatever) in Italy, at this point it is all about power. The judge in particular is bound and determined to exercise his power, and he and the doctors together are bound and determined that no one, dammit, shall have more power over this child's death than they do. That's it. The bottom line. How dare these plebeian parents question their judgement? The all-powerful state says it is in the best interests of the child not to be taken abroad, to die in this hospital under conditions dictated by them, and that is what is going to happen.

One recognizes at times when one has pushed a button that is fundamental to a person's identity. It's like insulting a man's wife. Everyone has his "loco spot." For the modern state, a challenge to its power is its loco spot. They will hang on, now, like grim death until death comes.

The US has a background acceptance of the concept of subsidiarity in her very bones, since the Constitution is a fundamental exercise of subsidiarity. To Americans, there is a concrete sense that there are matters that don't belong to the state. The sense has been eroded in recent decades as the feds take over more and more of daily life, but it hasn't been eradicated altogether. Yet. The liberals keep trying to push the envelope, so we are by no means out of danger on that front.

I think that Britain does not have that same sense of subsidiarity as a historical piece of their civil structure. It seems to me that this is what is (in part, along with the culture of death itself) at the heart of this crisis. The British medical and legal authorities think they have a positive obligation to prevent a child's suffering that supercedes the parents' basic authority to make decisions for the child's welfare. (That's what they call, "preventing suffering" in spite of the fact that dehydrating to death is no picnic; that part stems from their culture of death premises). Without a baseline understanding that the parents have a primordial and inalienable right to make decisions for the child, an authority that is in some sense a prior authority than that of the state, all they have to decide is that the parents' choices are less than perfect in order to "justify" the authorities to step in and make "better" ones. I believe that (so far, at least) in order for American authorities to do this, they would first have to assert and establish parental abuse, and (again, so far) the definitions of abuse don't easily lend themselves to calling feeding, hydrating, and medical treatment as "abuse". But test cases are coming, I am sure.

This is one of the main reasons I strongly resist international urges toward a "world government" in one form or another: as things stand right now, European attitudes about power do not readily acknowledge the principle of subsidiarity, and so under current world realities any world government would run roughshod over subsidiarity, making the result very bad indeed.

England *used* to have quite a tradition of independence and subsidiarity. Even individual hamlets were proud of their separate nature, and at the level of the shire, accents might be proudly distinct to the point of being different dialects.

I've always previously been something of an Anglophile, and I've been absolutely appalled at the descent into sheeplike collectivism, ideological totalitarianism, and madness (of various kinds) in England over past decades. I can't help tracing some of it back to World War II, when the normally spunky English succumbed to all manner of nanny statism at first in the name of the war effort and then in the name of recovering from the war. It's like they never went back after that, despite a brief revival of some sanity during the Thatcher administration.

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