The New Lyceum provides analysis of current affairs that affect the body politic. It does so out of a belief that man is reasonable – he can come to understand truth through rational discourse.

Alfie and the Aristocracy

Alfie and the Aristocracy

In all likelihood, Alfie Evans, the two-year-old with a degenerative brain condition, is going to die. No matter which course of treatment doctors take, no matter what experimental medicine he could be given in Rome, the boy will probably pass away quickly. Though it is necessary to take into account the sobering realities of Alfie’s health when considering events of the past few days, it is also proper to express outrage at the pious attitudes of Alfie’s doctors, the callous pride of Britain's National Health Service, and the classist miscarriage of justice perpetuated by the courts.

While Alfie’s parents desperately appealed the courts to allow their baby out of the country for treatment, a different boy was born in London. The Duchess of Cambridge, to much national delight, delivered a healthy baby boy. Thankfully, the mother and child are both doing well.

Let us imagine, God forbid, that the royal child was born with a similar condition to that of Alfie Evans, or Charlie Gard. Would the calculations of the National Health Service be the same? Of course, doctors would likely take a similar line of initial treatment, but would they hold the boy in the hospital against the wishes of his parents, even when funding was donated to move him? Would they, as they have done to Alfie, after removing the ventilator and finding the child able to breath on his own, refuse even basic nutrition? Would a judge look the Duchess of Cambridge in the eye and tell her that the court had decided this was her son’s “final chapter”? Surely not.

No, a boy of higher birth would be flown to Rome. Different doctors would be allowed treat him in whatever manner they saw fit, to grasp at a slim chance that the boy would be receptive. But Alfie is not noble, and so despite generous Vatican offers to help him at no cost to British taxpayers, he must lay in a hospital in Liverpool, starving to death by the doctor’s own hands, and dying with the “dignity” that the courts have seen fit to allow him.  

It is the juxtaposition of national pride in the birth of one boy, while the state requires another to wither away in front of his parents, that should outrage those of clear conscience. The short story of Alfie Evans is an atrocity. May God forgive those responsible for such evil.   

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