Tags: Health Topics | Healthcare Reform | BabyAlfie | BabyCharlie | PrinceLouis | DeathPanel

Govts' Quality of Life Standards Can Be Deadly

Govts' Quality of Life Standards Can Be Deadly

Interior of a neonatal intensive care unit with an ECG monitor in the foreground. (Andrei Malov/Dreamstime)

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Tuesday, 08 May 2018 10:59 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The eyes of the world were once again riveted to England, where another child was destined to become an international sensation. Discussions were dominated by talk of the "outcome," creating an anticipation level leaving some breathless-literally.

No, we’re not talking about people guessing the birthdate of William and Kate’s third child — nor its gender or name.

It was something far more serious.

Had the British government learned its lesson after unilaterally deciding last year to end a sick baby’s life, despite the strenuous objection of his parents? Or did it so relish its power to play God, that it decided to up the ante and do it again?

Given that the one left breathless was 23 month old Alfie Evans — the result of a government-issued decree ordering his ventilator turned off, effectively sentencing him to death — it’s no secret which path the British took.

How incredibly ironic that, at the same time we celebrated the birth of His Royal Highness Prince Louis, we were witnessing the English government snuff the life out of Baby Alfie, after preventing his parents from seeking medical treatment elsewhere.

From the country that gave the world the Magna Carta, respect for human rights and the rule of law, how far the Land of Hope and Glory has fallen.

As history shows, when a government determines who lives and who dies, based on the highly-dangerous "quality of life" criteria, and a society permits it, the door opens ever-wider to terminating a whole host of people: the elderly, mentally-challenged, babies afflicted with genetic disorders, and, perhaps, those of an undesirable ethnicity, religion or orientation.

The recent situation is a more aggressive version of what happened to Baby Charlie Gard just one year ago. In that case, a medical death panel (with the full backing of the British government, all the way up to the Supreme Court), decreed that Charlie, an 11 month old who was afflicted with a rare genetic disorder, must die, ordering all life support to cease.

And why? Officially, it was because the government deemed that a life of permanent disability and dependency was not worth living. In reality, it was because bureaucrats wanted to send the unmistakable message that they were almighty, knew best, and most important, that no amount of dissent would make them stray from their pursuit of absolute power.

Not surprisingly, the decisions stripping parents of legal rights to their children were also approved by the European Union’s Human Rights Court. More irony: a “human rights” court eviscerating the most basic human right — the right to life — of babies just trying to survive, while usurping the human right of parents to do what they believe is best for their child.

Let’s take a closer look at the decisions that took Alfie’s life: 

  • Alfie Evans suffered from a neurological disorder that developed when he was one, a condition that doctors were unable to accurately diagnose. After several months, doctors ordered an end to all medical care, which included unplugging the ventilator.

  • Alfie’s parents did what any parents would do: pull out all stops to protect their child.  Sure, the parents had the right to legally fight the order, but smug government officials knew it would all be for naught, as it would amount to nothing more than going through the motions. And they were right: court after court rejected arguments that Alfie’s parents had the most vested interest in the little boy’s well-being.

  • Courts in democratic nations are supposed to be impartial, judging cases on their individual merits. But when, with a wink, they simply rubber stamp decisions that were effectively made before proceedings even began, they render themselves kangaroo courts, losing credibility in the eyes of those who should count most: the people.

  • A price tag should never be placed on human life. Nonetheless, it is important to note that money had absolutely no bearing on the decision to end Alfie’s life, as all costs were covered.

  • Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Britain’s big brother overreach was that Alfie had options elsewhere — options that were systematically denied. The Pope offered the church’s support in assisting Alfie. And in an offer no one could refuse — no one except Britain’s government — Italy offered immediate citizenship to Alfie, so that he could be transported and treated in an Italian hospital. England’s response: "Request denied, but thanks for playing."

  • Does anyone really think that England’s proclivity to play God would be enforced across all levels of society? Not a chance.

If Prince Louis developed a similar disease, you can bet your last pound and pence that the Royal family would do whatever was necessary to keep the boy alive. They would act, not just as royals, but as parents, grandparents — and great-grandparents — to give Baby Louis every conceivable chance at life, no matter how slim the odds.

So how could they simply sit back and do nothing, especially in the wake of the royal birth?

Too bad the royals forgot about how instilling empathy and compassion can work wonders in maintaining a civil society, such as when Queen Victoria embraced Joseph Merrick (the Elephant Man) and treated him with the dignity that should be afforded all human beings.

Alfie lived for five days after life support was pulled. So let’s get this straight: not only were doctors unable to diagnose Alfie’s illness, but their predictions that he would die shortly after being unplugged were also wrong. Therefore, by definition, their pontification that Alfie’s condition was untreatable could also have been incorrect. When it comes to someone’s life, shouldn’t we always err on the side of caution — and hope?

Unequivocally, many doctors and scientists are miracle workers. But fact is, not only aren’t they perfect, they’re frequently wrong. How often do we hear of a prognosis that someone has six months to live, yet is still going after six years?

Or, of people being cured when doctors thought it impossible?

And what of the billions who now live free of once-ravaging diseases, afflictions not long taking countless lives? Since cures to those diseases, from smallpox to polio, started with experimental treatments, why the adamant refusal to allow Alfie the same?

Many media reports couched Aflie’s case as a Christian/Catholic/religious issue. It’s not. It’s a human issue — one in which the values of right-versus-wrong, control-versus-freedom, and leviathan-versus-individual, are pitted against each other like never before. In a world that is becoming eerily similar to George Orwell’s "1984" and the dystopian society in "V For Vendetta," these are battles we cannot afford to lose.

If human society is best judged by how it treats its young, old, and infirm, let’s win one for Babies Alfie, Charlie — and Louis, since we’re all in this together — by permanently pulling the plug on England’s death panels.

Not only would babies breathe a sigh of relief, but Britannia would once again be the bees knees.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, Freindly Fire Zone Media. Read more reports from Chris Freind — Click Here Now.
 

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As history shows, when a government determines who lives and who dies, based on the highly-dangerous "quality of life" criteria, and a society permits it, the door opens ever-wider to terminating a whole host of people.
BabyAlfie, BabyCharlie, PrinceLouis, DeathPanel
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2018-59-08
Tuesday, 08 May 2018 10:59 AM
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