UPDATED: According to the BBC, a second appeal to the Supreme Court will be filed this afternoon in the UK by The Christian Legal Centre, which is representing Alfie's parents.
The video above is Alfie Evans father, Tom Evans, informing supporters outside Alder Hey Hospital that the lastest appeal has been lost but he will continue to fight.
Judges today forbid Tom and the child's mother Kate James from taking Alfie to a receiving hospital in Rome. While I fully believe the initial petition by staff at Alder Hey is the most barbaric form of rationing being conducted in a developed nation, what happened in court today is far more sinister.
The rationing argument in moot. Tom and Kate have raised the money they need to transfer Alfie to a facility in another country with no further burdens to the NHS system in the UK. In spite of that, the Justices in the Court of Appeals upheld a detailed plan for the withdrawal of Alfie's life support. The most recent argument rested on the fact that Alder Hey was violating Tom and Kate's parental rights in refusing to release Alfie, but the judges dismissed this idea.
The judges have decided treatment is futile. The judges have decided that the implementation of Alder Hey's care plan is the correct course based on the testimony of Alder Hey staff. The judges are making a decision in loco parentis when the parents are there, with resources and a different point of view. The judges have eroded parental consent and patient self-determination in a way that only ensures more of these cases will occur and fewer will have the media spotlight. According to Lord Justice Davis:
We cannot have a kind of legal 'Groundhog Day' where you come back again and again and again on the same point.
In effect, the state has decided that the parents of Alfie have no right to have any hope and that they are not allowed to have a different plan or idea of what palliative care for their son may look like. The very air he breathes is at the benevolence of the state at this point. Doctors and judges playing God in the absence of a diagnosis and documented improvements with reduction in sedating medication and weaning Alfie's vent.
Palliative care is what Barbara Bush announced she would be taking for her own illnesses today. My prayers for comfort and peace are with the former First Lady and the entire Bush family over the coming days and months. It would be a ludicrous to think that her treating physicians could go to court and force Mrs. Bush or her family to take unwanted life sustaining treatment.
The reverse is also true. It is every bit as ludicrous for three individuals in black robes mandate the withdrawal of treatment in the presence of parent preferred options for palliative care. Of course this "detailed care plan" remains a secret. The judge asserted this is for the family's privacy. Sure it is. Tom Evans has made this battle as public as he possibly could. He in fact showed the entire world the end date for ventilation in a letter he posted to video. the cloak of secrecy is to benefit the hospital and the staff as they move to carry out their unconscionable plan.
For everyone in this country enamored with "Medicare for all" please look at the official Alfie's Army page on Facebook. There are other tales from parents whose children have not been diagnosed, have plan of care in place and whose parents are fighting for what we would consider basic comfort measures in this country.
For our friends in the UK, I have no words. Only sorrow that their elected officials and the citizenry in general sit idly by while even more fundamental individual liberties are stripped away. This is the third child that will be euthanized by their healthcare system that we know of. It's really as if the UK is full of subjects again, not citizens.