April 28, 2018

A PRETTY EASY BALANCE TO STRIKE, IN THIS CASE:

Why were Alfie Evans' parents denied mercy? (Melanie McDonagh, 28 April 2018, The Spectator)

So, Alfie Evans has died. His father, Tom Evans, said on his Facebook page that his little boy had 'laid down his shield and taken up his wings'... and 'we are absolutely heartbroken'.

So, the judges have got their way; Alder Hey hospital has got its way; the child died on the terms of the authorities, not on those of his parents.

Almost certainly, Alfie would have died whatever course had been taken this week. No one disputes the severity of his neurological condition. And indeed, in previous generations, children in Alfie's conditions would have died long before this; his case is only possible because of medical advances. And obviously, withdrawing life support is not murder... using extraordinary means to sustain life goes beyond the duty of doctors.

But what we have seen is an ugly one-sided battle of Alfie's parents and their supporters - the inarticulate, the misguided, the fundamentalist as well as the decent, ordinary and well meaning - pitted against the medical establishment represented by Alder Hey hospital and the judges. [...]

I would just ask, again, just what would have been lost if Alfie had been flown to Rome to be treated at a Vatican hospital?

While patients (parents) have no right to demand extraordinary measures (unless privately contracted obligations obtain), when they or others are willing to provide such m,measures they should obviously be allowed to do so.


Posted by at April 28, 2018 6:16 AM

  

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