Dr. Annette Teijeiro is a knowledgeable doctor who is running for Congress. When she heard about Alfie Evans she said, “The U.K. is setting a strong precedent that government can condemn us to death, they own our lives, and they decide who is worthy to live to the point of denying outside countries to help!”
Evans was a British 23-month-old who had been hospitalized for seizures a year ago. The doctors believed that he had a degenerative neurological condition that left him as a semi-vegetative state, unable to breathe on his own. According to the doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, he would not recover.
The hospital wanted to take Evans off the ventilator. The parents did not agree. They had pleaded with the Pope and they were welcomed to bring their son to the Vatican Hospital. The Pope even granted Evans citizenship to Italy.
The family was not only prohibited from leaving the country with the child, the hospital appealed to the High Court to have the parent’s rights to the child removed. The ventilator was removed on April 23, 2018.
Alfie Evans died at 2:30 a.m. local time, on April 28.
The Daily Signal stated, “When the government gets to be the arbiter of life and death, those who are sick, aged, or disabled are liable to be done away with as unnecessary expenditures.”
This is a blatant abuse of power and not the first time the government in the U.K. has overstepped its bounds.
Eleven-month-old Charlie Gard had spent his life in a hospital bed. He was born on Aug. 4, 2016 with a rare genetic condition called encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS).
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) determined that his prognosis was bleak.
Now, Gard has severe brain damage. He cannot open his eyes or move his arms or legs. He cannot breathe without the aid of a ventilator. His organs are affected by the disease and the doctors are not sure if he is in pain.
Gard’s parents wanted to bring him to the United States for an experimental treatment called nucleoside bypass therapy (NBT). A hospital in the U.S. agreed to treat the child and his parents had raised the money to travel.
NBT has been used to treat a similar genetic disorder called TK2 deficiency, however, it has not been tested on animals or humans for RRM2B deficiency, Gard’s disease. TK2 only affects the muscles. RRM2B affects several organs and the brain.
GOSH applied for ethical permission to try NBT with Gard. Nevertheless, by the time the decision was made, his condition had worsened. Doctors believed the brain damage was too severe for the treatment to help his condition.
Experts on RRM2B, from around the world, agreed that Gard should be removed from the life support and “be allowed to die with dignity.”
Just like the Evans family, the Gard family refused to take their child off life support and appealed to the court. It was determined that it would be in Charlie Gard’s best interest to be allowed to die.
The Supreme Court and the European Court agreed.
According to NCBI, “The terms predictive and personalized medicine though are evolving to describe a much more technologically advanced way of diagnosing disease and predicting response to the standard of care, in order to maximize the benefit for the patient, the public and the health system.”
The government determined that Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard would not “respond to the standard of care” and the government ordered their deaths because it “maximized the benefit for the [sic] public and the health system.” Not the patients or the families.
This is why it is important to have doctors, who understand the health-care system, to represent “We the people.”
Doctors have regular experience with the broken system, and they know that the U.S. is sliding down the slope to healthcare in the U.K. America is not far off from justifying the killing of children that have an alternative.
By Jeanette Smith
BBC: Charlie Gard: The story of his parents’ legal fight
NCBI: Overview of healthcare in the UK
Image Courtesy of Adrian Clark’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License