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Baby Alfie, the Latest Victim of Omnipotent Government
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Twenty-three-month-old Alfie Evans, passed away in a British hospital on Saturday. While the official cause of death was a degenerative brain disease, Alfie may have been murdered by the British health system and the British high court. Doctors at the hospital treating Alfie decided to remove his life support, against the wishes of Alfie’s parents. The high court not only upheld the doctors’ authority to override the parents’ wishes, it refused to allow the parents to take Alfie abroad for treatment.

In upholding the government’s authority to substitute its judgment for that of Alfie’s parents, the high court is following in the footsteps of authoritarians throughout history. Ever since Plato, supporters of big government have sought to put government in charge of raising children. The authoritarianism of a system where “experts” can override parents is underscored by a police warning that they were “monitoring” social media posts regarding Alfie.

Alfie’s case is not just an example of the dangers of allowing government to usurp parental authority or the failures of socialized medicine. It shows the logical result of the widespread acceptance of the idea that rights are mere privileges bestowed by government. It follows from this idea that rights can be taken away whenever demanded by government officials or the popular will.

Of course, most western politicians deny they believe rights come from government. They instead claim that government must place “reasonable” limits on rights to advance important policy goals, such as limiting the right to free speech to protect certain groups from hate speech, or limiting property rights to promote economic equality. But, a right by its very nature cannot be limited or abolished and still be a right.

This disdain for a true understanding of rights is found among both liberals and conservatives. Both support a welfare-warfare state funded via the theft of income taxes and the indirect theft of inflation. Both support jailing people for nonviolent actions like drinking raw milk. Many politicians, regardless of ideology, support restrictions on parental rights such as mandatory vaccination laws.

While claiming to support the right to life, most modern liberals not only support legalized abortion, they want to force pro-lifers to fund abortion providers. Both the right-wing neocons and left-wing humanitarian interventionists dismiss the innocents killed in US military actions as inconsequential “collateral damage.”

America’s Founding Fathers rejected the idea that rights come from government. They instead embraced the view that rights are either granted by the creator or are a basic attribute of humanity.

Since rights do not come from government, government has no more legitimate authority to violate our rights than does a private individual. Thus, if an individual cannot use force to make you help others, neither can the government. If an individual cannot use force to stop you from gambling online or telling un-PC jokes, neither can the government. If an individual cannot use force to stop parents from seeking medical treatment for their child, neither can the government.

Widespread acceptance of natural rights and the principle of nonaggression that flows from natural rights is key to obtaining and maintaining a free society. Thus, educating people in the benefits of free markets, individual liberty, and a foreign policy of peace and free trade is key to protecting future Alfie Evanses, and other victims of the welfare-warfare state, as well as to restoring respect for the moral principles of liberty among a critical mass of the people.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Constitutional Theory 
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  1. myself says:

    There are at least 2 layers to the issues that have arisen with the handling of the case of Alfie Evans, the innocent baby who died while under the care of the UK National Health Service.

    Granted, there have been cases in which the parents, biological or adoptive, have not had the interests of a given child foremost in their minds. Furthermore, no suitable relations could be found to care for the child’s wellbeing. The UK’s laws were ostensibly to address such cases.

    But, LAWS DO NOT APPLY THEMSELVES. Without good human judgement, the finest laws, indeed the finest constitution is next to useless. (The United States is a case in point. The storied Constitution is powerless to prevent the rise of lobbies, media monopolies, banking cartels, and the all-powerful deep state.)

    The ostensible core disagreement:

    Alfie was too young and too sick to speak for himself. Alfie’s parents thought it reasonable that Alfie should travel on an aircraft for maybe a 90 minute flight to Italy, where he would be given experimental treatment for free at a hospital. They said that Alfie was not unduly suffering, and that it was well worth a try.
    The doctors at the hospital had the position that nothing more could be done for Alfie, and that the flight would lead to him suffering needlessly. Needlessly, as the treatment offered had scant chance of success. They said that they had decided to pull Alfie from life support, and allow him to die – ostensibly to spare him more pain.

    In the case of Alfie Evans, I find it bizarre that the onus of proof should be laid on the boy’s parents to prove to the courts that they loved their son.

    The burden should have been squarely on the hospital and doctors to prove that the boy’s parents’ judgement was harmful to Alfie, and within a reasonable time-frame at that (A week perhaps, no more than a month certainly). Failing that, Alfie should have been ordered released and his parents free to seek treatment for him elsewhere. Instead, the case took far longer than that to resolve.

    Where it gets infuriating and unbelievable was that the hospital seemed to do everything in its power to see to it that Alfie NOT BE ABLE to get other treatment, or to even be able to leave the hospital in order to die at home.

    They blocked Alfie being able to leave the UK for free treatment in Italy (the “needless suffering because of travel” argument), and they blocked Alfie being taken home by his parents (They told the courts that the family was a flight risk – can’t have them leaving the country with their son to go to Italy).

    The outcome? The hospital, after a long legal process, was backed by the UK courts, and Alfie died in the hospital when they pulled his life support.

    Why should the hospital have blocked other avenues and other possible outcomes for Alfie Evans? IF he was inevitably going to die anyway, life support or not, experimental treatment or not, then what possible harm could be done by letting his parents and other doctors try to save him? That he would be stressed by a mere 90-minute flight?

    The boy had been in the hospital since December of 2016, and even the doctors there said he had no brain function. It is an extraordinary assertion that someone with no brain function should be suffering – or could suffer unduly from a 90+ minute flight! The doctors should have been made to prove such a claim, and been made to do so in a short span of time. That, or release the boy IMMEDIATELY.

    For the implications of the terrible outcome of the Alfie Evans case, see the next post.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  2. Tiny Duck says:

    Damn I thought conservatives believed in the rule of law. I guess you guys cannot help bewing hypricritical snowflakes about everything

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    , @Alfa158
  3. llloyd says: • Website

    The NHS sound in this case like the doctors and administrators in Nazi German. It sounds like same reason. Overstretched free health services and fear for the future of relatively healthy patients.

  4. Giuseppe says:

    Are individuals in government morally entitled to assume the risks of the medical decisions they might make on behalf of private citizens?

    Is there a hidden agenda behind the state’s mandate for medical providers to keep digital patient records as a condition for Obamacare?

    Does HIPAA prohibit state actors from gaining access to protected health information?

  5. @myself

    Alfie lived on after life-support was pulled. He died when they stopped feeding him for several days.

  6. @Tiny Duck

    “Damn I thought conservatives believed in the rule of law. I guess you guys cannot help bewing hypricritical snowflakes about everything.”

    A stellar display of ignorance of what constitutes the rule of law. There was no question of law decided here. This was judicial fiat to support the state in deciding who lives or dies under the terms of its alleged compact with the people. It was also a stellar violation of Alfie’s ECHR Article 5 Right to Life.

  7. The docs said he would die in two hours.
    He lived for five days.

    Five days without food or water – he died of thirst.

  8. Sorry, Ron, but you are wrong here.

    Government is the court of last resort in child welfare cases, even end-of-life ones. It is a lousy way to decide these issues, but it is the best we have.

    No serious libertarian would maintain that parents have the right to torture or abuse their child, even if they sincerely believe they are acting n he child’s interests. We don’t allow a child to be beaten to exorcise demons. We don’t allow Jehovah’s Witnesses to refuse blood transfusions in an emergency. We have to have a way of intervening, and that is a function of the state.

    Alfie’s parents were far more sympathetic than those listed above, but they still did not have an unlimited right to decide his end-of-life issues. One is always reluctant to let go of a dying relative and it is easy to deluded oneself in thinking that a miracle cure lurks over the rainbow. I have been there, albeit not with a child.

    Alfie’s brain was totally destroyed. There was no possibility of reversing that. The courts invited testimony from expert witnesses to dispute his and none appeared.

    I don’t know what the Italian hospital promised, but they would have been irresponsible if they had promised a cure, improvement, or even some regaining of cognitive function. They were offering to keep him on a ventilator and feeding tube until his mitochondrial disease killed him.

    I find it quite reasonable that the British courts would grapple with the uncomfortable question of what we’re Alfie’s best interests. It is hard for me to see why being kept “alive” by machines for weeks or months was automatically in his best interests.

    i suspect that most of Alfie’s Army would have felt very differently if his parents had wanted to take him to quacks, holy men and faith healers instead of an advanced First World country, but the principle is the same.

    I am very unhappy with those who claim that this case is an example of the evils of socialized medicine. The hospital had spent vast sums diagnosing his illness and looking for a treatment. The doctors were finally convinced that there was no such possibility.

    Hard cases make bad law, and there are few harder than a dying child

  9. MarkinLA says:
    @Adolf Verloc

    Much better and well reasoned comment than the article.

  10. @Adolf Verloc

    “No serious libertarian would maintain that parents have the right to torture or abuse their child, even if they sincerely believe they are acting n he child’s interests. We don’t allow a child to be beaten to exorcise demons. We don’t allow Jehovah’s Witnesses to refuse blood transfusions in an emergency.”

    No actual human would kill millions, steal trillions, or bomb countries back into the Stone Age.

    But those control freaks who want their government surrogates – the ones that do far more harm than good – certainly do.

    And that “We have to have a way of intervening, and that is a function of the state.” is a pathetic justification for their blind desire for all the evil that is government.

  11. Alfa158 says:
    @Tiny Duck

    I realize you’re probably sitting under an overpass with your shopping cart, pecking this stuff out on your Obama Sailfoam, but if you at least take your gloves off, you can reduce the silly misspellings and malapropisms. They make people suspect that you really are an idiot instead of the witty satirist lampooning brain-dead Leftists that we all know you really are.

  12. Isabella says:

    Those of you supporting the rule over parents by Courts and Law might want to ponder that many laws are immoral and wrong. Many countries have killed people via Judicial Murder – in fact some states in America still do – for reasons that are highly immoral [some victims have been mentally retarded] yet they are following “The Rule of Law”
    At this time, a couple in England who paid 100,000 pounds for their own surrogate baby have had the baby taken away from them by social workers on the grounds that the parents are in their 60’s and therefor the baby may not get proper care.
    The fact that there are numerous cases where grandparents are caring for small children where the parents cannot or will not, has gone unmentioned.
    In the UK, the government can just come and for no good reason, removed a beloved baby, leaving the parents as in this case, severely distressed and grief stricken.
    But – they are following some law or other.
    If thats not authoritarian Fascism, I dont know what is.
    There are 14 common features found in all recorded Fascist regimes.
    The US scores 13 out of 14. The UK about 8 !!
    The Anglo Fascist Empire – where even your children can ripped from you, left to die, and you can do nothing about it.
    And then they have the utter gall to criticise Russia!!!

  13. myself says:
    @Adolf Verloc

    But was the burden of proof on the state, to prove that Alfie would suffer needlessly, rather than on the parents, to show he would not?

    It should have been on the state. IMHO, this is the very crux of the issue.

    It is extraordinary to claim, especially in light of the specifics of this case, to say that the parents did NOT have the best interests of their child in mind. It is also difficult to see how the expert witnesses called to testify by the court, in this case the NHS doctors, could have been totally or even mostly impartial in their testimony.

    At the very least, non-NHS and even non-UK physicians should have been called in. After having done that, the burden of proof should have been placed squarely on the state/NHS hospital to prove, in face of contradicting expert testimony, that Alfie Evans was going to suffer.

    Instead, the parents were asked to prove that he would not – as if the testimony of the very agents of the state (the doctors at the hospital) were automatically privileged as true by default – an absurd state of affairs.

    And perhaps the final point to be made is this: What could the very worst outcome have been? That Alfie Evans would have been on the ventilator, a vegetable, for several more months. Followed by inevitable death. Alfie would not benefit – but it is difficult to see how that could do any sort of harm, either.

    The hospital had the prerogative to pull the life-support. What they had no right to do was to essentially imprison the boy at their facility and deny his parents the chance to try another avenue, however non-existent the chance of success.

  14. I think I would want to know more about the motivation of the doctors and the hospital in Italy before reaching a conclusion. Why would they want to spend a huge amount of money to provide treatment to a lost-cause baby who was a foreign national?

    • Replies: @myself
  15. Anon[416] • Disclaimer says:

    Inconvenient Alfie may very well have been deliberately murdered by the hospital. A nurse gave 4 unspecified drugs to Alfie at a moment the dad was away and the mom dozing. He was stable before, died 2 hours later.

    The saddest part is how few comments the article will garner amongst the high IQ, false-flag savvy, well informed Unz commentariat. Maybe if the hospital had been jewish…

    I am not a Ron Paul follower, but kudos to him for writing a brave, reasoned, piece.

    • Replies: @myself
  16. myself says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    The hospital in Italy was a Vatican hospital, with its own particular world-view, whether we agree with said view is immaterial.

    Point being, the Vatican believes life, for as long as those alive want to live, or as long as their their legal guardians say they want to live, is worth preserving at all costs. If Alfie had been able to speak, and if he said he wanted to die, I think the Vatican would have no issue whatsoever with that.

    But Alfie’s parents. speaking for him, said that if he could speak, he would want to try to live.

    So the hospital in Italy was willing to expend vast sums to keep him alive, even for a little while. If the treatment in Italy would have cost the British state and the British taxpayer nothing, why not let Alfie’s parents take him there? What harm can accrue?

    Truly baffling.

  17. myself says:

    Alfie may very well have been deliberately murdered by the hospital. A nurse gave 4 unspecified drugs to Alfie at a moment the dad was away and the mom dozing. He was stable before, died 2 hours later.

    The possibility did occur to me as well.

  18. RodW says:

    To be sustainable, medicine always involves an element of triage. As someone who is forced by circumstance to triage my own ailments for lack of unlimited resources, I have sympathy with the hospital and authorities who applied the principle to Alfred, so that more hopeful cases might be helped.

    I too have seen family members override the express wishes of their parents to be left to die in peace, only to experience retrospective remorse for torturing them at the end of their lives.

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