by Om Narayanan
April 30, 2018
By now, almost everyone has heard about the case involving 23-month-old Alfie Evans of Liverpool, U.K., who has been suffering from an undiagnosed neurodegenerative illness. Last week, young Alfie was removed from life support after doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool decided “there was no hope”. Alfie’s parents were also denied by the High Court of the U.K. the ability to take him to Italy for special treatment. On April 28, Alfie passed away after surviving for five days without a ventilator, which was removed against his parents’ wishes.
While Alfie’s case has been in the public eye for just the last two weeks, the background of this has been surrounded in over a year of litigation. Alfie’s parents have been fighting Alder Hey since the hospital first tried to remove not just their parental rights, but Alfie’s life support as far back as December of 2017.
If we step back for just a moment and put aside the horrifying display of totalitarianism coming from the High Court of the U.K. in this case, who evidently believe that the state owns its citizens and that parents cannot dictate how best to safeguard their children’s lives, there is the equally disturbing sub context of forced euthanasia in how this case has been handled.
In all the commentary I have read by lawyers and judges regarding the hospital’s decision to remove Alfie from life support, there has been one constant. All of them cite a lack of “hope” in being the main reason why Alfie should no longer be kept on life support. In other words, since Alfie was going to die anyway, why bother keeping him alive? This should be frightening for all of us as we continue to see human dignity thrown by the wayside in favor of convenience. Further, when parents want to keep their children alive for as long as possible, “health care professionals” are instead the only ones who apparently have the final say.
Alfie’s case shows us that euthanasia has become woven into human society on a global level. We are seeing instances occur more regularly where if someone has a deficiency of some sort that is deemed “terminal,” whether it be old age, illness, mental disability, physical disability, or any other ailment that might make them societally “inferior,” the only solution that is offered is to put them to death. In Alfie’s case, this death cult philosophy went so far as to prevent his parents from even being allowed to remove him from the hospital and leave the country to seek more advanced help for their child.
While many aspects of this case have been heartbreaking, we have seen somewhat of a silver lining. The outpouring of love, compassion, and support for Alfie and his parents have been immense. From “Alfie’s Army,” a group of protestors in the U.K. in support of Alfie, to lawmakers here in Washington, D.C., and even Pope Francis in Rome, there is a strong coalition of individuals who displayed courageous dedication in trying to help Alfie get the health care he needed.
But the bottom line is that another life has been lost due to forced euthanasia by the U.K. government, continuing a disturbing trend after the death of Charlie Gard last year. After fighting for several days after having been removed from life support, the young warrior Alfie was taken from us. Tom Evans, Alfie’s father, was reportedly seen giving mouth to mouth resuscitation to Alfie as he died in his arms. This should be a warning signal to all of us. When a government can decide that a toddler should die because it is what is most convenient, we are less than one step away from totalitarianism. We must remain vigilant, steadfast, and cognizant of these atrocities and redouble our resolve for pro-life activism so that tragedies like this can be prevented in the future.