Italy will care for baby Alfie , And the U.K. will let Alfie die today why ?
Not a doctor and haven't examined the child, but:
There is no chance for life, and any extension will be short.
While citizens demand unlimited health care, reality (in the form of cost) says otherwise.
What parents want, in terms of health care, for their children is not always in line with what is best for the child. My state is battling the propensity for some religious nuts to deny care for sick children, up to and including letting them die.
Yet if these young parents were say prince and princess they could hire the same doctors and panel too to continue health care to a continuing and more extensive length and quality of care and remain within the UK ? I don't know the ailment but "no chance for life " at many times in history has been proven wrong , coma's for instance . Is this not the very "death panel " opponents to the ACA have discussed ?
Doesn't wealth determine in this very case the limits of health care "alternatives "?
Yes to all those. But it still goes back to citizens demanding unlimited health care, while reality dictates otherwise. Calling life decisions a "death panel" is much like calling a common semi-automatic rifle a "military assault weapon"; terminology designed to raise emotions rather than provide information.
By your analogy , not allowing these parents the choice of going elsewhere by keeping them from removing the baby from the premises , dying or not , is like calling the doctors panel "Assault Doctors " isn't it ? This isn't about terminology ,I guess anyways , unless it's your baby I suppose.
First of all, what does this have to do with free healthcare? It’s an issue of ethics at this point. But since you brought it up it’s worth noting that Italy does have a national healthcare plan as well.
Not providing continued life support for a terminally ill patient is a pretty universal process. Have you ever visited someone who was terminally ill in palliative care? They literally provide nothing except basic comfort (which sometimes is impossible based on the condition). But providing medical care that simply prolongs suffering is not common practice in most places, this is not specific to the UK and not based on the healthcare system.
As far as I understand it the Italian hospital offered a second opinion on future care and not a promise to keep him alive (or even to make a different decision than the UK doctors have). This child is going to die regardless of where he’s at and the courts, not the NHS, have decided that it would be inhumane to prolong his suffering. If you wanna take issue with the decision then criticize the courts, not the healthcare system that has kept him alive (at no cost to his parents) for the last 2 years.
Who's ethics exactly and who's ethics at what cost or affordability exactly ?
Again I don't know the particular ailment or issue with this baby . Aside from that though , this all provides the most basic of reasons to reject nationalized healthcare decision making however , when wealth , class and panels decide the quality , quantity and extent of care . We've seen dozens for instance of coma patients even decades later come alive , so who and how much is one life worth dead or alive ?
Death panel ; The poor child dies today , the rich child maybe next year ?
Again, it is not the NHS saying that he cannot seek a second opinion out of the country. It’s the High Court. It’s not within the power of a public healthcare system or the doctors that work within it to dictate that. You’re complaining about the wrong thing here.
If you don’t even know what this child is suffering from then why are you comparing it to comas (which is a huge generalization in itself as there are countless reasons for being in a coma which dictate likelihood of recovery)?
Also can you explain to me how you think privatized healthcare helps poor children specifically live longer?
My point is who's right is it to assume by policy that you die or that you live for whatever reasons ? What's next , "You there , take this death pill here's your glass of water "? That's what they are essentially doing to this family and It matters not either what we call a terminal disease in the western world , why can't this couple take this child anywhere they want whether home to die or to China for herbal life saving therapy ,or who knows what ?
One hospital board ?
You’re clearly not actually reading anything I’ve said if you’re still blaming the hospital/doctors/healthcare system for the limitations on where this child can seek treatment. If your issue is that he can’t seek treatment elsewhere then your issue is with the courts and not the healthcare system. Why is this so difficult for you to grasp? Because it doesn’t fit your “free healthcare kills kids” narrative? I also notice you didn’t address my question about how privatized healthcare will help poor kids with terminal illness live longer - and I’ll actually add more to this - even if it did help poor kids with terminal illness live longer, does that somehow negate the ethics involved in keeping a suffering child alive on life support just for the sake of saying they’re alive?
And all of that hogwash without even letting them remove the child to another hospital forcing the child to die AND to die-- right there in that hospital only , this is ethics ? ,Why not be allowed to another health care" culture" even , Western worlds are so different from far eastern health care systems for instance , who knows "...... live longer ....", they might even have a cure .
Question is , Who exactly is playing God if not a hospital panel who thinks they know better , we already know that "miracles " happen every day ? My point is they can't even remove the child from what ? The loving arms of a controlling system ? Put your baby in Baby Alfies shoes .
I’m not going to comment on whether I think he should be able to go somewhere else or not. I don’t know the details of his suffering that intimately. But I do believe if doctors and legal professionals feel it would be inhumane to send him to another country in his current suffering, let alone across the world, that there’s probably a good reason for it. I don’t believe that people are scheming to kill a child who has a real shot at comfort or happiness or life. I’m not that jaded.
If you don’t see why prolonging a child’s suffering on the slight chance that a “miracle” might come along is ethically questionable then I don’t really know what to say.
Hello again Aime, just a nudge to help you stay out of the ditches. The toddler is not suffering in any way - past, present, or future.
Multiple doctor's descriptions of the toddlers illness spoke to the brain being essentially destroyed. A vegetative state. So vegetative that their prognosis is that there isn't even enough brain function to keep him alive without the ventilator. They say the toddler has no capacity to feel pain or pleasure. So there is no suffering - for the toddler. For the parents and his compassionate caregivers, I am sure there is an almost unbearable amount.
I don’t think any doctor has said for sure that he can’t feel pain. A few have said that they believe he can’t - but other doctors have pointed out that without being 100% sure of that they must treat him as though he does. Perhaps instead of “suffering” since there’s no way of knowing for sure if he is or isn’t, you’d prefer if I said “quality of life.” My point still stands, I think.
Aime, you are right, they could not say for sure. They could only speak from their medical evaluations of the toddlers brain scans. I don't recall catching specific technological descriptions of the exact brain damage, but all that I read used descriptors like; destroyed, eaten away, etc. Not intending to make light of the seriousness, I was left with the impression that if a normal brain was a a broccoli stalk, this toddler's brain would look as if the crown had been cut away.
My intention wasn't to quibble with your word choice, it was only to point out that most of the doctor's prognosis indicate there is not enough brain left to feel pain or pleasure.
But your bottom line is correct - they didn't state they were 100% sure.
Further information direct from source, as sometimes important information gets lost or misinterpreted on its way to the public via the media.
Extract from report by the Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome (translated to English) which was one of the intended destinations:
"During clinical evaluation there were epileptic seizures induced by propreoseptiv stimuli [physical movement] and associated with neurovegetative symptoms as cardiac rhythm and blood pressure disfunctions. This finding might affect a possible commute. A hypothetical transfer might be done from the patients bed to ambulance, to airport and subsequent ambulance or helicopter to the final destination. It is possible that during the travel Alfie may present continuous seizures due to stimulations related to the transportation and flight; those seizures might induce further damage to brain, being the whole procedure of transportation at risk" (1)
A professor at a different hospital in Rome argued that the boy could be moved safely, but proposed additional medical procedures:
"If Alfie would be transferred to our hospital, our management plan would include an estimated days stay at our PICU including a tracheostomy and PEG insertion"(2)
As others have said, the medical consensus in this case is that there is no possibility of recovery.
The applicable UK legal framework being applied is clear. When a court considers anything related to the upbringing of a child, "...the child’s welfare shall be the court’s paramount consideration"(3).
In addition, guidance laid out by The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and referenced in the judge's ruling, lists situations where limitation of treatment is appropriate in UK medical practice. One of those is:
"Lack of ability to benefit; the severity of the child's condition is such that it is difficult or impossible for them to derive benefit from continued life"(4).
In this case, the court, based on available evidence, decided travel to Italy (and by extension certain proposed additional surgical procedures) would not be beneficial to the child's welfare, and could in fact be detrimental. The uncertainty as to whether the child can perceive pain was also a factor in the court's ruling:
"All agree that it is unsafe to discount the possibility that Alfie continues to experience pain, particularly surrounding his convulsions. The evidence points to this being unlikely but certainly, it can not be
Even if it were certain the child could not perceive pain, engaging on a journey that could induce "continuous seizures" and cause further damage to the child's brain, can not reasonably be considered beneficial to his welfare.
Ultimately the court concluded that the risk is too great:
"All of this might be worth risking if there were any prospect of treatment, there is none. For this reason the alternative advanced by the father is irreconcilable with Alfie’s best interests"(6).
While the parents of the child deserve every sympathy, their wishes are secondary to the child's welfare. So it's difficult to see how the judge in this case could have reasonably arrived at any other conclusion.
(1) Mr Justice Hayden - Approved Judgement, p.15, para. 40
https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content … -evans.pdf
(2) ibid. (p.15, para. 42)
(3) The Children Act 1989
(5) Mr Justice Hayden, p.22, para. 60
(6) Mr Justice Hayden, p.22, para. 64
Hello Don, your input shows that either I misunderstood the information I read, or, I did not dig deep enough. Thanks for the effort.
But, the irony of my first thoughts about your comment gave me a chuckle. Surely you have heard the adage about getting the real facts - straight from the horse's mouth.
Would it change your perspective if the child could go home ahorseback?
"Terminally ill Alfie Evans may be allowed home, a judge has ruled but he will not be allowed to go to Rome for further treatment."
Source: The Telegraph, Apr. 24, Alfie Evans can return home, judge rules - but he can't go to Italy for treatment
Well isn't that just what these parents began and ended up wanting , Its enough to have the death panels , Now we have prison hospitals and health care too ?
I was unfamiliar with this story so I asked my friend Google what's up.
After 7 or 8 articles, split between British and American stories, I think I get the gist of it - maybe.
The toddler's condition is incurable and terminal - both British and Roman doctors appear to agree on this.
The British doctors recommend it is time to end life support. I don't see a problem with this. It's just a fact of life - regardless of the healthcare model.
The Roman doctors agree the child is terminal, the solution they are offering is palliative care, which seems to me to be saying they will make him as comfortable as possible until he dies. My opinion on this is only valid for me, but I am not an advocate of extending life just because you can - when there is no possibility for improvement in quality of life, or chance of recovery.
I can certainly understand the parent's position - I might be right there if Alfie were mine. But, I certainly don't see this as a "death panel" issue as claimed by ahorseback. Nor do I see it as an indictment of The British healthcare system, again as ahorseback claims.
Specifically, the obvious bias and baloney of the "RedState.com-type" U.S. sources make it obvious that Ahorseback probably got the news from one of them.
But, surprisingly, the source I found most informative and least biased was a CNN article.
Even Wilderness has caused me to wonder what I missed in these articles, because I didn't find anything that indicated this was a "cost of care" issue. Primarily because I can understand the British doctors recommendation at face value, just because that's the way things are - sometimes it's just time.
And since the Italian/Roman doctor's offer was offered free of cost, I don't see that as a cost-of-care issue either.
So what am I missing? Where is the support for the claim that an effort is demanded regardless of cost to others?
But, there is one point I really don't understand. Since the British Court ruled Alfie could go home - presumably to die - what is the rational for refusing to allow him to go to Italy?
Thank you. Several posts into this and I still have absolutely no idea what ahorseback thinks is the fault of the NHS or universal healthcare specifically. Makes absolutely zero sense.
As far as not letting him go to Italy, it seems the judge deemed it inhumane to put him through extensive travel in his current state. Which I believe is understandable. It all comes back to “how much suffering are you willing to put this child through just to say you did it?” I obviously can’t speak for myself if I were in that position but as an objective parent, I really don’t want to think that I’d be so deeply in denial of my child’s reality that I was willing to put her through hell just for a little extra time. That’s not a slight on the parents at all because I imagine when you’re in the thick of it you cannot think that rigidly and your emotions dictate your every move. But that’s why we do have doctors and professionals here to tell us what logistically is the best step.
Aime , how about this, NO YOU CAN'T TAKE YOUR BABY HOME TO DIE .
I don't pretend to know you but I know enough of you as a mom would have a major meltdown . This is the NHS fault , if not of NHS then Who exactly ?
He should be allowed to go home if they’re discontinuing treatment (and it sounds like that is actually in the works). I would absolutely fight for that.
Apparently the doctors don't really know what it is that's wrong with baby Alfies brain , some unknown possibly epileptic related brain tissue disease that has destroyed the white matter of his brain center..... related to motor and cognitive abilities , he may never feed himself , smile , speak or communicate ........." as has shown almost from birth .
Hi Aime, I didn't think of the "inhumane" angle. You might be right. But... if it is the reason, then it is the judge's sensibilities that are guiding the decision, not facts. One of the doctor's statements - in regard to the father saying he had seen improvement in his son, was that the toddler's brain was so destroyed that he could feel neither pain nor pleasure, (as relates to possible quality of life improvements). So I don't see that any action would be an inhumane action relative to the toddler.
I was going to concentrate in this post on the reasons behind the court and doctors' decisions over this baby, but fortunately G.A Anderson, Aime F, and Wilderness have all more than adequately covered the reasons for the decisions taken, with their pertinant, unbiased and sensible assessments of the issues involved. That will at least make this post a (little) bit shorter! As has been stated this is NOT about free healthcare. It is about ethics and the dignity of allowing nature to take its course with a permanently brain damaged baby. I wonder what would have happened in the US? Would some doctors have offered to keep the baby in a vegetative state on life support for years or decades, just so long as someone was willing to pay them vast sums of money to do so? Is that really the system 'horse would prefer?
As I understand it Alfie's condition involved permanent, catastrophic and indeed progressively degenerative brain damage. It was not a coma from which he could have recovered. Italy as I understand it agreed with that diagnosis. All they were offering was the same kind of life support care, he had been receiving in the UK. 'horse suggests in this case that 'wealth, class and panels decide the quality, quantity and extent of care'. That, I would have thought, may be more true in the US, certainly as far as wealth is concerned. In the UK, wealth and class make no difference to a critically ill patient requiring intensive care such as this one - it only makes a difference in providing speedier or more comfortable care in chronic conditions or less critical services such as cosmetic surgery, where a patient can elect to pay for private care rather than National Health Service (NHS) free care. As for 'panels' - well, who else is going to decide something like this other than a panel of expert medics, or judges advised by medics and the Law of the Land? An individual?
'horse's comment 'What's next , "You there, take this death pill here's your glass of water "? seems to refer to euthanasia. Cessation of life support to let nature take its course is legal. Euthanasia or assisted suicide is not (though many think that law should be changed to allow such positive action - under strict legal controls - to end suffering rather than prolong it).
I think almost everything 'horse has said is wrong, from the title question down: U.K. free Healthcare , The baby dies to save face for socialism?. To talk about a baby dying to save face for socialism is ridiculous, because this is not a socialist country by any sensible definition of the word. Nearly everyone from the left to the right of British politics supports the basic way in which the NHS operates (free at the point of service with some private practice backing up the free service). Virtually no one would prefer the American system which must be a nightmare for anyone who falls ill and faces bills. I wonder how Alfie Evans' parents would have coped with that? In the UK, the baby has been cared for throughout his short life by the health service free of charge to his parents - no need for insurance, no financial worries. Hugely expensive health care which we the public are collectively happy to pay for through our taxes.
Postscript: Alfie Evans died in the early hours of this morning.
Hello Greensleeves, thanks for the kind words - and British perspective.
But ... don't get too carried away with this "... pertinant, unbiased and sensible ..." stuff, I have a reputation to live down to. :-)
I think all of you are missing the point that I am making , This is "Big Government " deciding actual life and death against even the possibilities of nature itself , Just like the education system that is failing in America or ANY government run entity ," We know better what's best for your family than you do " No matter that your child cannot read , add , subtract or hardly speak at sixteen years old . None of today's liberals want government in your bedrooms [abortion debate ], but in the kids rooms is okay ?
I really don't even want to know how many people today live their lives out on" life support " in the US. or the UK. but the point is, just who is it that has their hand " on the plug "ready to pull it at any point ? Italy offered further life support for free , so you cannot talk of cost ! Far eastern healthcare systems today often cure ailments the western world deems incurable . I may have decided even at an earlier point too to pull the plug on my own child but isn't that my choice and not the panel of judges in a walnut paneled court playing God ?
Baby Alfie died last night and may he rest in peace , so the point is mute now except I ask you all this .Who will pull your plug " You ,one of your loved ones or a distant entity of uncaring government .Maybe THIS is exactly why we call it Health Care and not Government Care ?
"This is "Big Government " deciding actual life and death against even the possibilities of nature itself "
And yet...this was nature taking it's course, without intervention from government or parent. To say government decided death against the possibilities nature offered doesn't make sense, for the ONLY thing nature had to offer was death.
Yet man decides when , why and how nature takes its course ? You must love the Corp of Engineers and cement rivers ? I'm not sure I'm comfortable with your nature.
We've all talked in the past about death panels , perhaps we've talked about the aged and their value of life determined by that age , We have almost reached a point in medical technology where like heart replacements , eye's , major organs , nerve tissue , joint replacements , tendon transfers [I've had that done ] skin grafts , etc.......when exactly in the near future will a brain transfer happen and who or what determines who will get them ? Wealth , class , race , age ? The whole issue of doctors /courts / public opinion panels, issue will have to be visited in more extensive detail . I can't help but think in Alfies case , if it isn't the NHS's cost / benefit / value and if health care is free how long is it free for?
Someone this week in UK. opinion piece called this situation " The tale of two Kates " , Would it have been a different ending if this were Kate Middleton's baby and not Kate Evans ? We do live in a changing world .
'ahorseback', to give my UK perspective on five of the points you make:
"Far eastern healthcare systems today often cure ailments the western world deems incurable."
From what I understand of this case it would be a miracle indeed if far eastern healthcare could cure a condition such as this. But the 'Age of Miracles' is long since past.
"I may have decided even at an earlier point too to pull the plug on my own child but isn't that my choice and not the panel of judges in a walnut paneled court playing God?"
I trust there is no personal experience leading to that sentence? I sincerely hope not, because no one should have to go through that kind of ordeal in life. But 'horse, the answer I would give is 'no - it shouldn't be the parent's choice unless the medical experts are in agreement with their wishes.' Parents do not own the life of their child. If a plug is going to be pulled it must be done on the basis of the best medical advice available.
"Who will pull your plug " You, one of your loved ones or a distant entity of uncaring government."
Frankly I would want the plug pulled if I was in such a bad state that there was no hope of recovery and yet was sufficiently aware of my condition to make a decision. And it wouldn't be done by an uncaring government - the government doesn't interfere in this sort of thing. In the UK, there seems to be significantly more respect for the integrity, objectivity and expertise of scientists (medics) than there is among some sections of American society. That's why experts will determine this kind of thing in circumstances where the patient cannot decide for themselves.
"Yet man decides when, why and how nature takes its course?"
Man decides this every time a patient goes to hospital even for a tonsillectomy. If we left it to nature to take its course, most of us would be dead by the age of 20.
"Would it have been a different ending if this were Kate Middleton's baby and not Kate Evans?"
I'm absolutely sure it wouldn't have been any different. This view that everybody should be kept 'alive' for as long as medically possible regardless of the devastating nature of their condition is a view which seems to be largely peculiar to some sections of American society. Most accept there is a time to accept the inevitable and put an end to the torment of a persistent vegetative state.
Not to dampen this debate but I lost a brother five years ago in America to a work related vehicle accident . In the hospital three days after the accident while we all waited for any news the doctors came to our rather large gathered family and explained to us that my brother was essentially as near to severely and probably permanently brain damaged as he had ever seen , that even if he survived the accident the brother that we knew would never be the same again , likely never speak , walk , talk or be anything but a vegetable in bed , Long story short , WE after meeting in private and discussing it , allowed the" pulling of the plug "at the doctors advice . I guess my point here is that this was our family's decision and ot a court or a panel of doctors .
I'm sure thousands of people live in beds every day , day after day , after an incident , accident or even a birth defect and possibly for decades . The point that this baby was bound for death unhooked is a determination made by men , I think that they had damned well better be sure of their advice or actions , And even more sure that they are not ever playing god .
I’m sorry to hear about your brother.
It is often left to choice. Often it is not. My dad died during a heart transplant because he was left on life support so long waiting for one that his liver had died in the process. They didn’t know it until they opened him up. Putting him back on life support to wait for a liver was not an option, the rest of his organs would have failed waiting for that one and it would be a lengthy and unnecessary process leading to his death. He was either going to die that day or weeks later, and his quality of life in those last weeks would be terrible. So the doctors made the call. It ran through my head occasionally afterwards that I had wished they had tried... what if he somehow would have made it to the liver transplant and been okay? But I made peace with it pretty quickly. The doctors are trained to assess these situations and they don’t want their patients to die. Knowing several doctors personally I have talked to them while they sob after losing patients.
I am no more capable of “playing God” with my father or daughter or anyone’s life than a doctor or a judge is. But they are certainly more capable than I am of knowing what their chances are and if those are chances worth taking.
That is a tragedy ahorseback and I am sorry for your loss. I did wonder if something lay behind your comment in a previous reply, and it's very sad you had to go through that personal experience and make that decision. I don't want to go into such a personal case because obviously it's a delicate matter and the circumstances are ones which only you can know in detail.
I would only say that you did clearly respect what the doctors said to you, and seriously took what they said into account. It's a question of where final accountability lies and where the final decision should rest. It is of course best if all parties can agree, but the general feeling among most people certainly in the UK would be that in cases such as baby Alfie, the medical decision by doctors to remove life support should be respected first and foremost as they are the very best judges as to what is in the best interests of the patient. Financial cost does not enter into their thinking when they make these judgements.
Anyway, once again sorry you and your family had to make that decision.
Onusonus's initial picture meme is not one I'll repeat because I don't want to give it too much free publicity. I did think it must be some kind of satirical joke, but looking at her profile page, I suspect it isn't.
I'll be as charitable as I can be. The world would be a poorer place if there wasn't a wide variety of opinions in it ranging from the sensible to the absurd.
Liberals once again taking a pro death stance, it's immoral and evil.
You say you want the government out of your womb, but on the other hand you want the government to decide when a child is to die.
You're against guns, except when they are used too force your agenda on other people. This just solidifies the long standing argument that your'e not really pro choice, you're pro death.
You think government is the ones to decide when a person should live or die, and spew out eulogies sanctioned by your idea of what a benevolent dictatorship should look like.
Why is it that you know what's better for a child than his own two parents, who love their child more than you or I ever will? Don't answer, I already know. Because ultimately you believe that children are to be raised, reared, and owned by their friendly community. That rather than being individuals, they are community conscience, global citizens controlled by the state.
Onusonus, what sort of nonsense are you 'spewing out' (your phrase)?
Where did I say I want the Government to decide when a child is to die? WRONG! I would say the medical experts are best equipped to decide.
I wish I could understand what your point about guns is all about in this context - if I could, I would tell you what's wrong with it!
A benevolent dictatorship? WRONG! And quite bizarre. As well as your definition of 'hostage', please check your dictionary definitions on 'dictatorships' Onusonus.
You said: 'Why is it that you know what's better for a child than his own two parents' Where on Earth did I say I know better than the parents?? Try to find that passage of text for me. I said that when it comes to prognosis and health, the doctors know better.
You also said: 'ultimately you believe that children are to be raised, reared, and owned by their friendly community.' WRONG AGAIN! Nobody has suggested that, so why are you?
You have such a blinkered stereotypical view of people Onusonus, you seem to think you know everything about me and my views, and to suit your own agenda you distort everything that I say or indeed everything that happened to this little baby.
And you imply I'm immoral and evil. So personal attacks are now OK are they? Once again, check through what I've written in previous posts. In those posts I resisted the temptation of questioning your morals - only your facts and your use of the English language. But you see fit to make offensive comments based on no knowledge of me, or of the situation regarding this baby.
Personal attacks? No, I'm attacking a diseased ideology that plagues rational thought.
You are in favor of big government controlling people because you disallow the option of those people getting a second opinion, which is a pretty common thing. But apparently it's not an option when it comes to the universal healthcare industry.
You wouldn't have allowed that kid to go to Italy because it doesn't fit your ideology that the state knows what's best.
Could be wrong, but it seems there was already that second option. And a third, fourth and even fifth - it was not a singly doctor that made the decision but rather a whole group of physicians.
What you're asking is that additional opinions be gathered until one is found that hints of a cure and then use that one regardless of any other opinions. It is a very human reaction - we see it often in using "natural" cures for cancer (the Acai berry, maybe?), spell casters, mediums, witch doctors and nearly everything else. When denying a prognosis of death many people will trying anything at all, and without regard to the costs (financial or otherwise) of that decision.
You claim not to be making personal attacks yet you say that 'Liberals' take a pro-death stance which is immoral and evil. If that's not a personal attack on anyone that you regard as 'Liberal', then I don't know what is.
You talk about a diseased ideology - there is no ideology that I adhere to other than the rationality of good science and respect for the people who practice it, plus respect for their motivations. You on the other hand seem to have an ideology which trusts no one and no decision however evidence-based it may be, unless it conforms to your own belief system, which seems to have been conjured up out of thin air (or maybe - I'm speculating - through your interpretation of a 2000 year old book?).
You pretty obviously didn't take in anything I'd written in my previous reply because you make exactly the same blinkered mistakes again. For the record I am NOT in favour of big government controlling people, and NO ONE disallowed the option of those people getting a second opinion. As for the statement that 'You wouldn't have allowed that kid to go to Italy because it doesn't fit your ideology that the state knows what's best. when are you actually going to listen to what anyone else says? The state / government DOESN'T know what's best - medical experts do. If they had thought there had been any value in 'the kid' going to Italy then I would have been in favour - irrespective of what the 'state' said. (For the record, the 'state' wouldn't have said anything because the Governement recognises that doctors are the experts in this field).
Your paranoid ideology is that the evidence of skilled and trained doctors is irrelevent because you've developed some bizarre conviction that everybody - doctors, judges, police etc is under the day to day control of the government.
So low. Some people must have really awful lives to be that hateful.
It is truly a hateful thing to wish a person dead before they are willing. Whether it be a fetus being ripped apart in the womb, or the kindly and gentle starvation of Alfie Evans.
An early fetus is not a person. Period. And a body, human or otherwise, without a brain can never be "willing" to die.
What you are saying is that we must artificially force feed, must use our every ability to maintain life for eternity, those bodies where the person that used to inhabit it has left. Whether in a coma, without cognitive abilities, without a brain at all if we can - we must keep that chunk of meat alive at whatever financial, social, emotional, ethical or political cost.
Any rational person will reject this, and do so by the millions with living wills.
With the exception of your unscientific view of a fetus, yes, any rational person would reject the rest, which is why I didn't say it.
As for your previous comment, a body without a brain can't be "willing" yet you point out that people have living wills for just such an occasion. Are you for free will or against it? Make up your mind.
When there is agreement from the field of science, from biologists to psychologists to physicists, that a zygote is a "person", then you can say that my statement it is not is "unscientific". Until then you have zero reason or basis for such a statement, if for no other reason than "personhood" is a defined concept - a definition - rather than something science can discover or find. Something the pro-lifers generally ignore in favor of simply assuming their own definition is "obviously" true, but without providing any reasoning for it.
Not sure about the rest - the point was that a living will is made because they may not be able one day to give instruction so do it ahead of time. Indicating that an awful lot of people deny that forcibly and artificially maintaining life is not something they want done to them. Without that will the decision can go either way and they don't wish society to err in forcing their body to live on without them. I know of one elderly woman whose instructions are that no care be given except palliative and water; no CPR, no drugs, no breathing help, no blood transfusion, nothing but water and pain relief. She will NOT be forced to live "beyond her time".
Without such instructions it is up to society to make the call, and that does NOT mean it must be made in favor of continued life. In the case of Alfie society, through it's representatives of the physicians on the case, did just that. That the decision was against the wishes of the parents was unfortunate, but then society recognizes that the desires of parents are not always paramount. Children are not property to do with as parents wish, and society can and does occasionally trump those wishes. As they should - my state is currently wrestling with the problem of parents that refuse even simple medical care to children after recent deaths of several children with very curable ailments, and what the state should do about it.
So the debate becomes abortion again , I google pain and fetus' because I have a issue with choosing something or someone's else's death and I come up with 20 weeks being in the written rules and understandings of acceptable abortion limits , yet a fetus' body may begin to have sensory body pain at 7.5 weeks and the brain developing to "feel " that pain is between 15 -20 weeks . So the doctors panels [again] pull 20 weeks out of their hats . So ladies , better go and get it done quickly , whether emoting or intellectually deciding , don't want to hurt that "zygote " in your belly.
Although it might (might) be a talking point, I'm not sure that pain has anything to do with anything. We "murder" animals without thought, after all, and they certainly experience pain.
That's going to change, especially once lab-grown meat products become readily available.
Pain relevance ,Yet we can't execute a serial murderer in the U.S. because the chemical mix makes the body twitch and groan ? Funny how the discussion subject of pain to an aborted fetus varies , If it's little to do with pain why don't we then allow abortions right up to the ninth month ?
We fight atrociously against the death penalty for murderers then we kill 60-80 million fetuses since Roe Vs. Wade .........We fight for the right of a doctors panel to unplug a brain damaged breathing baby ......we demand unlimited free health 'care " for all ...............We demand that sex accusations become a measuring device for congressional candidates , but the ACLU demands sexual predators be freed from incarceration............. Celebrities demand that anyone freely cross our borders and then put up gates to keep them out of their neighborhoods except to clean the toilet ?
No wonder I gave up being a liberal after Jimmy Carter !
As I stated previously, it is not the job of the government to decide who lives or dies in a medical situation. It is the parental rights that must be upheld. The ideology that children are property of the state stems out of a culture predicated on the belief that it "takes a village to raise a child". It doesn't. Parents are by far the deciding factor in the creation of a balanced society. Look no further than the continuing failure of government ran child services. According to national statistics provided by Arrow, 40 to 50 percent of those children will never complete high school. Sixty-six percent of them will be homeless, go to jail or die within one year of leaving the foster care system at 18. And we are to trust this same ineffective and wasteful system to dictate who gets the proper care and how it is to be administered?
As I and I think several others have stated many times previously, the government DOES NOT decide who lives or dies in a medical situation such as Alfie's. Doctors decide on the course of treatment - hopefully in conjunction with the parents - but if necessary against the wishes of the parents. The doctors after all, have a better idea of what the child may be experiencing and what future they might have with or without treatment. (Don't forget - it's not just about treatment being withheld because there is no possibility of recovery as in Alfie's case - it is also about doctors insisting on a child's treatment going ahead when parents refuse to allow it because of their own religious convictions, thus potentially condemning their own child to death.)
Parental rights must ONLY be upheld if they do not adversely affect the best interests of the child.
There is no ideology that children are the property of the state, though the state does have the obligation to ensure they are properly looked after by their parents, that they get a good education and access to good health facilities, and similar services.
Again, you assert that you are not in favor of government control, but where does the authority of the doctors in a state ran healthcare system come from? Hint: The government.
In Alfies case the government funded health officials decided that it was in the best interest of the child to starve him to death.
The authority granted to the doctors is to do what is in the best interests of the child. If the doctors had decided that it was in the best interests of the child to keep him on medication, they would have done so.
You're never going to believe it, but it's as simple as that.
I suspect that what happened in the room Is the doctors saying " No ,...medical regulations won't allow the releasing and we can't let you remove your child from necessary care , we feel that even the ride home is a danger to the child's health and survivability " Meaning , Quota's of the number of beds filled determine the amount of royal health care dollars we receive each week , month and year , So No!
I HOPE that what happened is that a constant panel of doctors tried extremely hard to communicate with the young and stubborn parents and thus failing to convince them that unplugging was the only way through this maze of Royal B.S. . I suspect something somewhere between these scenarios is the truth .
I am sure that what you suspect may have happened is very far from the truth. There are financial constraints because health is a potentially bottomless pit as far as budgeting is concerned, but those financial constraints will not dictate that a patient has to be taken off 'life-saving' treatment.
The first part of what you hope may have happened (doctors trying extremely hard to communicate with the parents) is certainly more accurate, though I don't understand the reference to 'Royal B.S'.
Here is exactly what you are missing , One , NO government should ever be able to decide any parents choice for their children's continuing health care . Now ,by all probability the baby was going to die right ? When the courts and doctors said to these parents of Baby Alfie , Because we all have to grant that there COULD be .001 % percent of this baby surviving for years to come .
One, " No we will NOT continue to keep your child alive "
Two ,"NO , we will not let you either take this baby home to even likely die OR take this baby to another countries fully willing health care system to either live or to die "
Three ," We and NOT you are the choice makers in all of your child's health care decisions " .
So not only is the government of the U.K making the parental choices FOR the parents but the government of the U.K is determining that a life that could survive at some level for possibly years ? Is going to effectively , what we in America call be , "Put Down ". We use that unfortunate term here when we have to take an aging or a sick animal to the veterinarian to be put to death by appointment .
Oh for Goodness sake, I really don't know how many times I have to say it. Can you PLEASE understand something. THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT DECIDE THE PARENTS' CHOICE. THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT DETERMINE THE PROGNOSIS. Can I make it any clearer? If anyone can find any evidence of anyone in the government telling the doctors or judges what to do, please present it.
No one in the government would have had any say whatsoever in this decision. Doctor's decisions are independent of the government. So are judges'. Now it is true that hospitals have budgets because as I say, hospital care would otherwise be a bottomless pit. There are also laws about healthcare standards - that would be the case in all countries including America to prevent malpractice or abuse of patients.
But the specific care of any and every patient is the responsibility of doctors who do NOT consult the Government when making their decisions. Doctors decided what was in the best interests of the patient.
Criticise the doctors if you wish but stop trying to turn this into some kind of political affair. Almost no one in this country would favour the American model, including I am sure even the parents of Alfie who are not well off, and yet have had no financial worries and no need to take out health insurance as a result of care costs at the hospital during Alfie's life.
"OH for heaven's sake ",.... Is your health care system called NHS ? Does that not stand for National Health Service ? Is it not a single payer system directed , dictated , taxed , paid for by taxation ? Did you or did you not elect that system over a free market profit based system by voting ?
Budgets , So the budget system said , " NO , he has to die "? You know it's funny thing here in America , where there IS a successful , competitive and profit based health care system ; For all of the accolades paid to Canada's free health care system , we see Canadians coming to America and paying to NOT have to sit on a waiting list "free "system in Canada and have a procedure done immediately at times , but NEVER have we heard of an American going TO Canada to have something done , can you "splain that ?
Political affair ? When the NHS as defined by it's name , rather than the parents decides when , how and if someone dies ? Then Yes , it becomes very political !
I'll tell you an Old English Tale , the "Tale of Two Kates"
A story where one set of parents is told " No , Mommy Kate this baby dies HERE and NOW ------------and the other Kate Middleton baby would be allowed to fly from country to country all over this world looking for a cure for her baby even if it had the same chance for survival as the first ........Tell us that's a lie too .
I've already said there's budgets - that's why no one faces a financial burden when they or a relative falls ill. There is also private practice in the UK if people want to pay for it, although the basic care in a case like this would be the same because the doctors have the same level of competency. So they will NOT keep a baby artificially alive against its best interests just because someone is lining their pockets with money.
Presumably it's rich Canadians who come to the US for their treatment? And they avoid a waiting list in America? So there are no waiting lists at all in America? That's not what I've heard. I've heard that waiting lists are often longer in the US AND you have to pay for the privelege. And given that there are waiting lists, are poor Americans having to wait longer to make way for those rich Canadians?
And regarding the last point, as I've already said in another post, the answer is 'nope, it wouldn't happen'. I can't be absolutely sure that Kate wouldn't be 'allowed' to travel, given - not the wealth, but the 'status' - of the Royal Family, but the question wouldn't arise. Because the Royals would respect what we all know but you somehow doubt - that British doctors are not only just as competent as those in the US, but also work with the best interests of the child at heart.
Just to clarify, as a Canadian, I’ve never known or heard of anyone traveling over the border for any kind of life saving treatment. Waiting lists are prioritized by severity and need, so you’re probably not going to die waiting for life saving surgery/treatment (unless waiting for a transplant, but that’s an issue everywhere and out of the system’s hands).
People who travel over the border or to a different country are likely going for non-urgent procedures that they don’t feel like waiting for, or elective procedures which they’d need to pay for here anyway. Stats also show that the number of Canadians crossing the border for medical procedures is much, much lower than Americans make it out to be.
No system is perfect, but I’m happy with ours as a whole.
That sounds very similar to the situation in the UK Aime, as far as the way waiting lists are prioritised. Not sure how many UK citizens go abroad to avoid waiting lists for treatment in the NHS but if they do it is again usually for non-critical or chronic treatment or cosmetic surgery which may I suppose be cheaper in some countries than in the private health sector in the UK. Pretty sure not many would want to go to the USA mind!
The downside is that prioritizing life-threatening circumstances naturally makes the healthcare system more reactive than proactive. It took me more than 10 years to get my ankylosis condition diagnosed. That's while I was constantly seeing doctors, doing research, obtaining information from relatives in the field, being my own advocate, and dumb luck to boot. If I didn't do this, it would have taken another 10 years for the healthcare system to be able to identify it, and by then my spine would have been irreversibly messed up. My current treatment already costs thousands of dollars a month - how much more would it cost if I was in worse condition? Even something as simple as an exercise prescription (as opposed to the dozens of prescription pills that did jack sh!t) would have done wonders for me.
I'm not saying the US system is better, but I can't imagine I'm the only one who's had this experience. If I had the foresight I'd have gone to the US for diagnosis at the very least.
Sorry to hear that.
I honestly can not relate, every medical issue or concern my family has had has been treated very pro-actively. There was some trouble diagnosing my daughter’s hemangioma when she was a baby but I think that would have been a difficult diagnosis anywhere.
I suppose we all have different experiences... which isn’t great, I wish they could all be positive ones.
Good, keep it. And stop sending sick people to the US if it works so well.
Okay, love to. And we’re not “sending” sick people to the US, less than 1% of the population seeking non-emergency treatment chooses to go there. As I already stated, I’m not saying it’s perfect. But it’s also not the disaster American conservatives try to make it out to be.
So Canadians can come to the US for healthcare, but the kid in the UK can't go to Italy. Interesting.
Quite the oversimplification, no? If a Canadian or an American or a Whovillian was in the same state as Alfie was then I’d be saying the same thing I did about how the UK handled it.
So it's only okay to leave the country if the person isn't terminal. So if you're terminal the state owns you. Got it.
It’s funny that at LEAST three people have explained to you and horsey that the government and the courts are two separate things in the UK and yet you keep yammering about it.
They don’t “own” a child, and neither do the parents. The courts got involved to look at all of the facts and to consider the circumstances and made a decision. Was it ideal? No. No outcome of that situation was ideal.
I recently talked to the very Canadian who came to the U.S. to get an instant M.R.I. on a shoulder that he would have had to wait 11 weeks to get in Canada . And that isn't the first or the last one we'll learn of living 35 miles from Canada . So much for waiting lists ?
Yep, that happens for sure. Is having to wait a little longer for a non-emergency procedure worth overhauling an entire system for? I don’t think so, especially since any alternative system has several faults of its own. I’ll say it again: no system is perfect.
"Non emergency " to a man needing shoulder surgery ? I suppose if you don't feel his pain and discomfort then ,no it's not an emergency . Like , um how would you know that it isn't an emergency ?
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