Government-run health care fails again

April 22, 2018 |

I haven’t written about this case yet because I was hoping and praying that the judges in the UK would come to their senses and relocate their hearts. Sadly, that hasn’t happened. In a case tragically similar to the death of young Charlie Gard, Great Britain’s government health care system has once again overruled the desperate pleas of parents and condemned a baby boy named Alfie Evans to die.

Alfie went into a coma from a brain condition that the NHS doctors couldn’t diagnose. They ruled that he’ll never get better and his life isn’t worth living, so he should be taken off life support to die. While it is a longshot that he could be saved, the parents want to try alternative treatment, which a Vatican hospital offered to provide. But the doctors refused to let the parents have their own child. They went to court, where the judges sided with the NHS and ruled that Alfie had to die. The parents appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that they now have three air ambulance services offering to transport him and hospitals in the Vatican, Milan, Genoa, Rome and Munich all willing to treat him. But in what must be the most soul-crushing, Orwellian nightmare imaginable for parents, the Supreme Court dismissed their appeal.

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This is why so many Americans reject the idea of government-run health care, and the notion that the British system is something we should emulate. When the state controls decisions over your health, it controls you. And when it controls you, it thinks it owns you. In the UK, it’s now been certified by the courts: parents don’t even control life-or-death medical decisions for their children. The state does, and by extension, it thinks it owns your children. We don’t need that here, and I’m astonished and sickened that the British people would allow it to continue there. Maybe they’re afraid that if they rise up in protest to defend the sanctity of human life, the government will take their medicine away.




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Comments 1-5 of 5

  • David Wordsworth

    04/26/2018 01:22 AM

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with Mr Huckabee and Tim’s comments due to their frequent factual inaccuracy.

    The little boy (Alfie) is now 23M old and has a severe brain condition whose diagnosis has eluded medical science. Unfortunately such (likely congenital-born with) catastrophic brain injuries are currently incurable regardless of the state, country and political affiliations of the parents, doctors, hospital and country the patient lives in.

    An alternative view may be that Alfie simply wouldn’t have made it to 23M if he were born in any other period of human development.

    The issue I find remarkable is that in all the arguments, very few people actually advocate Alfie’s best interest. ‘A right to life’ isn’t a right under any circumstances when the overwhelming majority of medical opinion feels that there is no prospect of giving this little boy any quality of life under any foreseeable circumstances.

    I feel it’s tactless and insensitive to bandy terms around such as ‘cure’ when one doesn’t exist in the UK, America or the Vatican.

    Alfie has rights as a human being, and will have had an advocate appointed by the courts at every stage that solely looked at his (not his parents, the hospital’s or anyone else’s) interest. Alfie’s case has been taken (and appealed) through the whole British legal system and to the European Court (which currently has primacy over every EU country).

    Alfie’s last few hours should surely be spent with those who love him, rather than being transported across Europe in a ventilator to a place he isn’t familiar with for an outcome that sadly isn’t going to change.

    Finally, both in the case of Charlie Gard and Alfie, I feel it’s disgusting to politicise these very, very sad events.

    However we all feel, it’s absolutely paramount to understand that the primary focus currently are the children in these circumstances, and then the privacy and emotional well-being of their families.
    When the media circus moves on and everyone (with no true interest in this matter) has opined, I sincerely hope we aren’t left with two emotionally confused, distraught and angry parents. (I note both parents recently instructed different legal representatives). They will also need many months/years of support and counselling. Let’s hope the people rushing the hospital 48 hours ago are there for them then.

  • Kevin Hornby

    04/25/2018 05:20 PM

    Hi Governor Huckabee, I am a Brit who lives part-time between the US and the UK. I've seen you many times on Fox News and although I totally disagree with you on religion, I am, in UK terms, a conservative.

    Many of my American friends, most have retired, pay way more than I ever have ever done so on health insurance. Throughout my working life I was fortunate to also benefit from private healthcare via the company that I worked for. So, just like in the US, if you can afford the best health care available then you can have access to it. Alternatively the NHS provides a fantastic service for everybody (full stop).

    Your commentary on the situation surrounding Alfie Evans, and Charlie Gard, paints a picture where the National Health Service of the UK is bad and, by inference from where you live, that the US health care system would be better. ... both you and I know that the parents of both Alfie and Charlie would not have been able to afford the level of insurance that is required to match the, already, committed resources of the NHS in helping these unfortunate children.

    I believe that your commentary is disingenuous. ... In the UK there are roughly 65 million people ... all 65m covered by the NHS. Each person has access to a general practitioner. ... the opening question from a NHS doctor is "how are you?" ... not "how are you going to pay?". ... In the US you have access to the best health care money can buy, but, and it is a big but, how many can afford it? Certainly not the parents of Alfie and Charlie!

    I can understand the desperation of the parents in these, and any other, cases where doctors diagnose "sorry, there's nothing that can be done!". The doctors in these cases have done the best that they can, they have put all of their medical evidence up for review and, reluctantly, agreed that no more can be done. If the children in these cases had been badly beaten by their parents then you would be concurring with the social services and law courts that these children needed to be removed from what you and I would call, at best, 'unloving' parents. In truth, in both cases, the doctors and the courts are making decisions on behalf of the children, not the parents.

    "Government-run health care fails again" ... I think not! ... your political point is misplaced. In the US you have millions of people who cannot afford access to good health care. A number of these people will only find out that they are terminally ill when they attend the ER because they have not been able to afford to see a general practitioner. For each Alfie, or Charlie, how many US children or adults die because of this lack of access? The UK system isn't perfect but I'd take it every time over the US alternative.

  • Debbie Wolfe

    04/25/2018 01:52 PM

    As a nurse practitioner, I would really like to like universal health care. But it is this type of thing that limits this type of system. And, in truth, I suspect that if the average American had to wait 6-9 months for a non-emergent MRI or CT scan, there would be quite an uprising. Perhaps for good reason. Any system that limits the parents' ability to make these type of choices is just wrong.

  • Tim

    04/24/2018 04:08 PM

    Sue: You seem to have missed the entire point of the article. It should be up to the parents to decide whether or not to pull the plug. If the parents want further treatment for their child and there are Dr's ready to treat the child, then who or what should be the Governments role in that decision? ZERO !!!
    The goal of Socialism is to control your life from cradle to grave. In this case they are simply deciding to take a child away from his parents, against the parents wishes, to have the children killed. It is simply an evil system that leads to devalued human life and makes the State god.

  • Sue DeBord

    04/22/2018 06:39 PM

    Who was going to pay for Alfie? Before you roll your eyes bear with me. I was a nurse for 43 years. The hospital costs for maintaining a life with no prognosis is astounding. Yes, I believe in God and the sanctity of life and I am pro-life. Unless you see with your own eyes the sadness and hopelessness that occurs with brain dead patients you can’t imagine the enormity of it. I cried many, many times on the way home because there was nothing to do but let them go. It was very noble of them to want to transfer him but his prognosis wouldn’t have changed one iota. PS I love you Mike Huckabee!