I couldn’t wait to meet our son.
As he came, there was a lot on my mind—the pain, the thought of meeting my son, wondering what my daughter would think, hoping the birth went well and that he would be healthy and strong. My entire being was a rush of thoughts and emotions.
Here’s what WASN’T on my mind: standing by helplessly as the hospital refuses to let me help my child if he needed it; watching as my local government and police force prevent me from taking my child to another facility if he needed it; being forced to watch the doctors and nurses actively deprive my son of oxygen, food and water.
And yet, that’s exactly what British parents Tom Evans and Kate James—parents of precious Alfie Evans—are facing.
Here’s what you need to know about this atrocity:
Concerned Parents and a Hospital on a Death Mission
When Tom and Kate grew concerned by their son’s developmental delays, and by unexplained jerking movements, they were waved off by doctors prior to his hospitalization. They said Alfie was simply “lazy and a late developer.” In December 2016, these two loving parents took their baby (then 7 months old) to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for a serious chest infection causing chronic seizures. He was placed on life support to help him breathe, and doctors then told the parents the child had minimal time left to live.
12 months on, Alfie had not only survived but was even able to breathe on his own before contracting another infection that again required the ventilator. On December 11th, 2017, Alder Hey hospital—after having been proven decidedly wrong by a child who was expected to die a year prior, “applied to the High Court to remove parental rights and withdraw ventilation.” In other words, they wanted the courts to grant them the right to take this child from the parents, and have him—by default—killed.
Heinous Courts with a God Complex
From December onwards, the British and European court systems have—despite the fact that doctors still have not officially diagnosed Alfie with a disease or disorder, and despite the fact that doctors were indisputably wrong in their initial assessment of Alfie’s life expectancy after life support was applied— ruled against the family, instead siding with Alder Hey hospital, which called further treatment of Alfie “unkind and inhumane.” And indeed, “under British law, it is common for courts to intervene when parents and doctors disagree on the treatment of a child. In such cases, the rights of the child take primacy over the parents’ right to decide what’s best for their offspring.”
So a court system that knows little about a child and certainly has no vested interest or emotional connection to the child is allowed to make decisions in place of loving parents seeking to give comfort to and heal their child.
And, might I add, the only “right” Alfie seems to have at this stage is the utterly despicable so-called “right to die.” Where is his right to a clean hospital room and medical equipment? To food? To water? TO LIFE ITSELF? (More on that below.)
No, instead this ordeal represents, as one judge callously put it, “the final chapter in the life of this extraordinary little boy.”
So here’s the long and short of it: Alder Hey can’t diagnose him definitively, but they’ve stated definitively that “there is no chance his condition will improve,”—so they’re refusing to continue treatment and the courts back the hospital up. Bambino Gesu Hospital in Italy—with the full backing of the Italian government which has granted Alfie Italian citizenship, and the full backing of the Vatican itself—has offered to airlift Alfie from Great Britain to their facility to give him a fighting chance.
Nope. Can’t do that either.
Instead, Alder Hey—the same hospital that is now refusing to treat the boy—is, with the full backing of the law, refusing to let him leave. Meanwhile, the hospital’s keeping its mouth shut. Specifically “the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital issued a statement indicating they would not comment on Evans’s condition ‘out of respect for the privacy of Alfie and his family.’”
What a stunning statement that they care more about the family’s “privacy” than they do for their child’s LIFE. As for those calling the hospital’s actions murder? They’re “fanatical and deluded.”
Let that sink it. It’s not fanatical and deluded to refuse medical treatment for a child who wants to live and whose parents want him to live—but it’s fanatical and deluded to call that murder.
Alder Hey’s lawyer has stated that “it would be ‘astonishing’ if the arguments over free movement [allowing Alfie to go to Italy] were to trump his best interests.”
In other words, wouldn’t it be a shame if Alfie’s right to life trumped his best interests?
You know what’s “unkind and inhumane?” Depriving a dying child of oxygen, water, and food.That’s right, after he was taken off life support on Monday, Baby Alfie was not only deprived of oxygen (his father has been giving him mouth to mouth to help him get oxygen), but they also deprived him of water for a time and denied food for 28 hours. They’re still denying him oxygen assistance.
You know what’s “unkind and inhumane?” A urine-stained bed and moldy oxygen tubes. This poor child is literally fading away surrounded by filth akin to a third-world, war-torn country.
You know what’s “unkind and inhumane?” Parents who are forced to sleep on a blanket on the floor. Alfie’s father has been sleeping on a duvet on the cold hard hospital floor simply to be near his son.
You know what’s “unkind and inhumane?” Posting police outside a child’s hospital room—the same room where he is being cruelly treated by the hospital itself—and telling parents that if they so much as touched Alfie to get him to Italy, they’ll be charged with assault.
Doctors said he’d last 3-5 minutes after being taken off life support.
He’s now at nearly 50 hours.
Charlie Gard—the other baby condemned to death by Britain’s National Health System last summer—lasted 7 hours. Alfie’s lasted 48 hours at the time of this article’s writing.
The Court of Appeals has just denied this child—a living, breathing, reacting human being whose pain right now stems largely from the way this hospital has been depriving him of sustenance and life-giving oxygen—the chance to go to Italy.
What Can You Do?
Pray. Pray for Alfie; pray for the parents, pray for the doctors and courts to change their minds. Pray for the future of parental rights in our OWN country. As my friend Jonathon Dunne explained this morning, our world is increasingly viewing parents simply as sperm and egg donors; that our children are not ours—they are the government’s and we are simply to watch over them within whatever awful parameters the government deems appropriate that day.
Share. Whether it’s this article or any other—share this beautiful baby’s story (and his parents’ log of it) far and wide.
Give. Regardless of what happens, Tom and Kate still need help. If you’ve got the resources and you’re so inclined, donate to help with their mounting financial needs.
I’ll never forget hearing the story of a favorite professor’s wife—who suffered a brain aneurysm and was declared brain dead by four Mayo Clinic doctors. Despite all odds, she fully recovered and today suffers only from occasional short-term memory loss.
Human beings can be wrong even when it seems unfathomable. What’s so much more egregious about this case is that doctors haven’t even officially diagnosed his condition—and yet somehow feel confident in their decision to declare him a lost cause. They’ve condemned this little boy to be sacrificed on the altar of all-powerful government and medical officials who refuse to admit that they COULD be wrong.
To the doctors at Alder Hey and to the British judicial officials who have heard and will later hear this case: admit when you’re wrong. PLEASE.
And give this boy a fighting chance, however slim it may be.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree