If you were paying attention to the news at all last year, you may have seen the high profile case between the parents of Charlie Gard and the British government. Charlie had an extremely rare condition and his parents wanted to try experimental treatment on him in the US. They’d even raised the funds, but the court system ruled against them, sparking outrage that the parents weren’t able to make medical decisions for their own child.
Charlie was taken off life support, passed away last July and was not allowed to die at home as the parents requested. A judge ordered him into hospice care, once again going against the parents’ wishes.
Sadly, it’s happening again.
This time to Alfie Evans, a two year old with a degenerative neurological condition that doctors haven’t been able to officially identify. His parents want to take him to Rome for treatment, but the court is saying no, siding with the hospital instead.
According to the BBC, doctors at the hospital where Alfie is receiving treatment say “continued ventilator support is not in Alfie’s best interests and in the circumstances it is not lawful that such treatment continue”.
Judges have ruled that the hospital, not the parents, have the final say and the court denied the parents permission to appeal that decision. The Supreme Court also approved a plan for ending Alfie’s treatment and bringing his life to an end.
We Americans need to pay attention. This is what socialized medicine looks like. Parents are no longer able to make medical decisions for their children and the NHS is in charge. So what if you can afford it? The courts and the healthcare system have the final say.
Our country is not immune to these kinds of cases (see Terri Schiavo or Jahi McMath) but they’re rare and our courts normally side with the patients NOT the health care providers.
Health care may need reform in the US, but it certainly doesn’t need to morph into the British model of socialized medicine. If it does, you better pray you stay healthy or else the government might step in and take your right to life away.