Twenty-three month old Alfie Evans was held for nearly a week without care against the will of his parents in a Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool until he died yesterday. He could have been cared for in a Vatican hospital if the British authorities had let him go. The British authorities denied him care to avoid his or their suffering. The basic facts of the case are set forth by the BBC and by the Guardian.
Alfie struggled against a rare degenerative brain disease. Once taken off life support, Alfie was supposed to die immediately without life support. That’s what a British doctor testified in court back in February.
That isn’t quite the way it turned out. Alfie lived long enough to make himself an example. We have frequently commented on the immiseration of Venezuela as exemplary of the fate of socialism. The case of Alfie Evans in Britain’s National Health Service is exemplary and symbolic in its own way. That must be one reason why the British authorities refused to relent in their assertion of control over Alfie’s fate.
As for the symbolism, here are a few items as they occur to me. However obvious, I hope they may nevertheless be worth saying:
We have turned over vast swaths of our lives to the control of experts.
That’s the way the left wants it.
This is what what socialism and the administrative state are all about.
The “knowledge” of “experts” is frequently a pretense to assert control over our lives.
Individual rights lose their meaning under socialism and the administrative state.
Abuse of the right to life is “part and parcel of a health system dominated by the state rather than the individual or the family” (as James Freeman puts it).
With the loss of the right to life and property goes the right to liberty.
The Merseyside Police put it this way (per James Freeman and Mark Hemingway): “We’ve issued a statement this evening to make people aware that social media posts which are being posted in relation to Alder Hey and the Alfie Evans situation are being monitored and may be acted upon.”
The Catholic Church understands one of the principles at the heart of Alfie’s case. It therefore presented a striking contrast with the British authorities.