As outrageous as the death sentence handed down to little Charlie Gard by British judges last year was, the recent execution – and I don’t know how anyone can characterize it as anything else – of baby Alfie Evans was even worse and should shock the conscience of every human being.
11-month-old Baby Charlie was born with a rare genetic disorder which causes brain and muscle damage in infants for which no known treatment currently exists. As such, the British government ruled that Baby Charlie had to be removed from life-support systems – guaranteeing his death – despite the wishes of the child’s parents to take him to the United States to attempt an experimental treatment program.
Private funds were raised and pro bono services were obtained. So this wouldn’t have cost British taxpayers, who fund the nation’s socialized medicine system, a dime. Nevertheless, the British high court ruled, unbelievably, that it was not in the child’s best interest to try to save the child’s life and refused to allow Baby Charlie’s parents and benefactors to give it a shot.
By government edict, and with no stay of execution, Baby Charlie lost his life one week before his first birthday. And thus, a truly frightening and horrific precedent was set. A precedent that recently played out once again in the case of another little baby with what doctors diagnosed as an untreatable condition, Alfie Evans.
Once again the British government and courts stepped in and decided it was in the child’s best interest to die despite objections by Baby Alfie’s parents and offers from the Italian government to grant Baby Alfie citizenship and transport him to Rome for further treatment.
Doctors were ordered to remove Baby Alfie from life-support on April 23, one month before his second birthday. It was said that he’d die right away. But then a miraculous thing happened – Baby Alfie continued to breathe!
His parents begged the court to re-instate life-support and grant permission for them to take the child to a hospital in Italy. Their request was denied. Five days after he was taken off life support, Alfie passed away.
This should scare all of us.
Now that these precedents have been set in England, how long before this hideous denial of parental rights comes to America – especially if ObamaCare is allowed to continue and expand into full-blown universal healthcare, like what Susie Lee supports.
Will the much maligned, mocked and ridiculed “death panels” conservatives warned against actually come into being? Will American parents similarly be stripped of their rights to make decisions about the welfare of their own children and have those rights subjugated to judges and government bureaucrats?
And what about this whole notion of a disease being “untreatable” or “incurable”?
As Newt Gingrich pointed out in a recent column on this travesty, Stephen Hawking – one of the most brilliant minds to ever walk the face of the Earth – was diagnosed as a child with an “incurable” disease and given just two years to live.
Hawking died 55 years later.
And what about actress Valerie Harper, beloved co-star on the Mary Tyler Moore Show?
Harper was diagnosed with “untreatable” lung cancer that spread into her brain in 2009 and given as little as three months to live. But as an article in People magazine last November explained…
Doctors put Harper on what was then a relatively new chemotherapy drug shortly after her diagnosis and the disease was kept in check. But earlier this year she began experiencing seizures and cognition problems and her doctors found an experimental drug that has once again begun working.
Gratefully, miraculously, Valerie is still with us today.
So who’s to say Baby Charlie and Baby Alfie had zero chance?
I’ll tell you this much: We in the United States should never allow the government to make that determination for us.