Alfie Evans died at 2:30 local time Saturday morning.
The 23-month-old, who suffered from a degenerative neurological condition, had been taken off his life support at the orders of doctors at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in spite of an international legal battle which included the pope and the unusual step of granting the child Italian citizenship so he could hopefully receive treatment there.
Alas, doctors at Britain’s NHS decided it was “inhumane” to continue treatment — even if his parents wanted it — so they decided to end Alfie’s life and the burden he had become on the British medical system. They wouldn’t even let him leave for Italy, because that would have questioned the primacy of the state and socialized medicine.
And, as James Woods and Newt Gingrich reminded us, this concept of the “death panel” — something we were told existed nowhere in the civilized world — is something that could have come to this country very easily if the full scope of Obamacare had been realized. In fact, if Woods is to be believed, it’s here right now.
Woods was first, tweeting out his own story and a link to a Gingrich op-ed in at Fox News.
The ObamaCare “death panels” were modeled on this political infrastructure. My cousin’s husband was diagnosed with cancer and advised to accept “palliative care.” He was told government health insurance would not “be wasted” trying to save a man his age. https://t.co/PjTq0x0iG7
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) April 28, 2018
“The ObamaCare ‘death panels’ were modeled on this political infrastructure,” Woods wrote. “My cousin’s husband was diagnosed with cancer and advised to accept ‘palliative care.’ He was told government health insurance would not ‘be wasted’ trying to save a man his age.”
Woods linked to Gingrich’s op-ed, which blamed Alfie’s death — along with the similar death of toddler Charlie Gard just one year ago — on both the system and Britain’s moral decline.
“The British government’s decision to allow two critically ill babies to die in two years is a natural reflection of the culture of death and the steady increase in totalitarian tendencies among Western governments,” Gingrich wrote.
“Last year, the British government ordered life support removed from Charlie Gard, ending his life when he was just 11 months old. Now, Alfie Evans — just 23 months old — has received what amounts to the same death sentence. On Monday, he was removed from life support by court order — against the wishes of his parents.”
Gingrich’s piece was written before Evans’ death, but he lamented the “secular system (that) has asserted its right to define what lives are worth living and is determined to prevent its authority from being questioned.
“Alfie Evans’ life — like Charlie Gard’s before him — has been determined to be limited by the standards of the secular state, and therefore without value,” Gingrich wrote.
“These tragic government-imposed death sentences for innocent infants should frighten all of us about increasing secularism in society and the steady shift towards a totalitarian willingness to control our lives — down to and including ending them — on the government’s terms.
“This is a direct assault on the core premise of the Declaration of Independence. We Americans asserted that we ‘are endowed by (our) Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.’ In the American Revolution, in our fight against the British crown, we asserted that rights come from God — not from government.”
However, Gingrich cited increasing totalitarian impulses in America — including indoctrination and censorship on college campuses.
But surely that wouldn’t happen in America, right? After all, under Obamacare, there were no “death panels,” we were told. That was just tinfoil-hattery from the conservative side. Under Obamacare, it was to be termed “rationing.” And in a Public Radio International piece that featured a certain MIT economist — before he became infamous — we should all start embracing it.
“The term ‘rationing’ strikes fear into the hearts of many Americans, conjuring images of ‘death panels’ and explicit denials of health care to elderly people,” the 2010 piece, a paean to the concept of rationing, began. “According to MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, health care rationing is happening right now, Americans simply need to make it more rational.
“‘The vast majority of Americans are over treated,’ Gruber told PRI’s ‘Here & Now,’ ‘and a substantial minority is incredibly under treated.’ Both those aspects need to change. Inevitably, according to Gruber, the country needs to move to a situation with ‘patients getting of less of the care they demand, and providers earning less money.'”
And if that care involves keeping patients — or the parents of patients — getting less of the care they demand, well, the system can breathe a lot easier and work a lot more efficiently. Shame about the Alfie Evanses, though.
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