UK Government prevents parents from seeking healthcare for their child
Posted on May 5, 2018 at 11:36 pm in
Alfie Evans died early in the morning on April 28, 2018 less than two weeks before what would have been his second birthday. A child dying is a horrible thing, but the situation surrounding this child’s death is down-right hellish.
Alfie suffered from an undiagnosed neuro-degenerative disorder that presented itself when he was about 6 months old. They believe it might have been a form of Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDS), a group of disorders that have a degenerative effect on muscle, liver, or brain tissue depending on the particular disorder. In simple terms Alfie’s brain was not developing the way it should and the tissue of his brain was slowly dying. He was hospitalized at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital on Dec 1, 2017 where after a time he was placed on life-sustaining measures including tube feeding and ventilation to allow him to breathe.
He was at the hospital for a year when the medical staff decided that there was nothing that could be done for Alfie and that it would be in his best interest to take him of ventilation and allow him to die. His parent’s did not agree with this and appealed to the UK courts to allow them to continue care for their son. Through the ensuing legal battles the courts sided with the hospital in their decision to remove life support. Mr. Evans reaches out to Pope Francis who then offers to bring Alfie via medical transport to Bambino Gesú hospital in Rome to continue life support as well as attempt a procedure to stop or at least slow his degenerative disorder. The UK refuses to allow Alfie’s parents to take him to Rome in order to extend his life, stating that it is in the boys best interest that he pass away sooner rather than later. The Italian government gives Alfie Evans citizenship in order to try to get him the medical care he needs and still the UK government refuses to release him to his parents. Alder Hey Children’s Hospital removed Alfie’s life support on April 23rd and he died five days later.
Throughout this entire ordeal people from around the world watched the suffering of this family and attempted to help via protests and funding websites, trying to get Alfie the help he needed. All the while the UK government maintained it’s decision and tightened it’s hold on Alfie’s life. This isn’t the first time this has happened either. Just last year another baby boy in the UK named Charlie Gard was diagnosed with MDS and after a time taken off life support against his parents wishes. Charlie’s parents were court ordered not to remove him from Great Ormond Street Hospital to seek other help for him. The US Congress gave citizenship to Charlie Gard in an attempt to get the British government to release him so that he could get further treatment in the US. Still the UK held on to the boy and forced him off life support. Charlie died on July 28th, 2017.
Why would the UK prevent parents from seeking medical aid for their sick and dying children? This is a question that has been asked by many. In the courts the government claimed that it was because the children were suffering and would be better off dead. There is no proof of this, in fact the physicians at these hospitals said that the boys’ conditions had gone to the point where they couldn’t feel or comprehend anything and therefore would not have had a life worth living. So which is it? Were the boys suffering or were they feeling nothing? Either way, asking a parent to do nothing when their child’s life is on the line is an insulting that stupid thing to do.
The disorders these boys suffered from are irreversible with our current medical treatments, though there are some physicians that claim that there are treatments that may halt or slow the decay. Alfie and Charlie were likely to die, yes, but should the parents have had the opportunity to see what other Doctors from around the globe would be able to do? The only way we advance anything, especially medicine, is by trying. Sure, these proposed experimental procedures might not have worked, but Doctors would have gained new knowledge. Knowledge that might help them develop other treatments to help these boys or other children in the future.
Many believe that the decisions to remove these boys from life support were made due to financial reasons. The UK uses a form of socialized medicine and so while everyone can get medical help for free, wait times and actual care sometimes suffer because of fiscal restraints. It is quite a drain on resources to keep a patient with these kind of needs living. Therefore it makes sense that decisions might be made to remove them from life support so that other’s that would have fuller lives might be cared for and saved. This is called triage and while it seems cold hearted it is a reality.
The thing I think is unforgivable is the fact that the government refused to allow outside treatment for these children. As stated above I think that the removal of life support was a financial decision and I think that the reason that these kids were not allowed to have treatment elsewhere is because the UK hospitals and government were trying to save face. They don’t want their citizens to know that they get second rate healthcare. They don’t want the world to know that socialized healthcare isn’t the best healthcare. It sickens me to think that these boys died the way they did all because bureaucrats were trying to prove a point.
Well the UK government has proved something. It has told it’s people that they don’t have the freedom to to try to sustain their children’s lives. It is going to control them and tell them when they can die and when they can continue to live.
I always get the shakes before a drop.
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