I have written about the case of Alfie Evans, the toddler in the U.K. forced off life support and refused a transfer to a different hospital willing to provide further care, several times here at the Corner. So has, most recently, John O’Sullivan.
Yesterday, Alfie’s breathing support was removed. Doctors expected him to die quickly. Instead, he has been breathing on his own.
One would think his unexpected ability to breathe would change doctors’ and judges’ minds about their current authoritarian course. But no. The technocracy has ruled that it is in this child’s “best interests” to die now! And so die he will.
You see, Alfie might be able to defy the odds with his breathing. But no one can survive being deprived of sustenance. And that now appears to be the course being taken by doctors, as Alfie’s dad says his son has been “‘starved from nutrition for 23 hours.'”
How can that be, Wesley? ANH, “artificial nutrition and hydration,” e.g., sustenance delivered through a tube, is considered a medical treatment and “life support.”
Medical treatments — including life support — can be withheld or withdrawn (usually requiring patient or family consent) as part of patient autonomy.
But sometimes, in “futile care” cases — such as this one — it is forced off against a patient or family’s will.
So, if Alfie keeps breathing on his own, and if he is being deprived of ANH, he will die slowly of dehydration. How is that in his best interests?
In pondering all of this, remember that the cause of Alfie’s progressive neurological collapse remains undiagnosed. A quality children’s hospital in Italy is willing to take over his care. An air ambulance is ready to fly him to Italy, and Alfie was made a citizen to facilitate that transfer.
The doctors were wrong about his inability to breathe on his own. What else might they be mistaken about?