Alfie Evans is a 23 month old British baby who has a rare neurological condition. He is in a semi-vegetative state. Machines have been keeping the baby alive. Courts have ruled that the treatment must be discontinued, even though there is an Italian hospital which has offered to attempt treatments for him. Alfie has been granted Italian citizenship.
There has been a long legal battle. Yesterday, Alfie was taken off of life support.
His parents are continuing to appeal.
They are actually giving the child mouth-to-mouth, literally breathing life into him in shifts to keep him alive in hopes of getting a new appeal.
What a tragedy.
What love from his parents. They’re fighting tooth and nail to keep him alive.
How sickening it is that the British government and courts have this type of power. Alfie is not the court’s son. A court should have nothing to do with this case. His parents want to take their son to Italy for treatment. Let them go.
Unfortunately, this is not the first such case we have seen from the United Kingdom.
Last summer, another British baby, Charlie Gard died in a similarly tyrannical case. Gard has an extremely rare mitochondrial DNA disease. There was an experimental treatment tat Gard could have received in the United States. Funds were raised. But the British courts would not allow the family to take their own son to the US.
Courts should not be able to judge if a baby lives or dies. In both cases, foreign governments were allowing these two babies to receive treatment on their soil, so it’s not like either would have been taking resources from the United Kingdom.
Certainly, in both situations, the odds of successful treatment were and are highly uncertain and unlikely. But it’s still worth trying.
Unfortunately, this story seems to be very underplayed in the States. I’ve done searches on some popular news sites like CNN and MSNBC and there is no mention of Alfie Evans on either site.
But we’re not all that different from the British. We have similar sensibilities. And it’s chilling that the courts are ruling against the life of a child for the second time this year.
We must have a value in the sanctity of human life.
Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.