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Alfie Evans Open Thread

Does anybody have a good account of the logic behind England’s adamant decision? I am unable to make out anything except “welfare of the child”, which is nonsensical given the hospital was going to execute Alfie before Italy stepped in with threats of murder charges. I want to understand the pro-killing side, but I can’t find much. The left is saying the State is ultimate arbiter, which even if we grant does not allow willfully killing an innocent. (Recall the hospital’s executioners were going to inject Alfie with chemicals meant to kill him.)

I think the State’s argument is that if they do not execute Alfie, he will die a more painful and protracted death with reduced “dignity”, and so in the name of compassion it is better to kill him and put him out of his misery and thus (it follows) increase his dignity. If so, the slope is no longer so slippery (see ‘Liverpool’ below). This will be a State-mandated execution in the name of “compassion”, not its first, and certainly not its last. The judge (see below) is after all an advocate of executing the less able.

But I admit the possibility of error. I may have misread the State’s argument. If anybody can clarify it, I’d appreciate it.

Renew!

Tweet: “Baby #AlfieEvans is still alive after a serious night in which his oxygen was removed. New appeal in London today at 2pm.” That’s 9 AM east coast time.

That’s Pope Francis’s account, which reads “Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.”

Tweet: “The court has now also said the family is a ‘flight risk’ and thus can’t go home.” Flight risk? Is England East Berlin?

Alfie Evans’ dad reveals he’s giving tot mouth-to-mouth to ‘keep him alive’ The hospital is withholding treatment, and refusing to let the parents seek it elsewhere. So that removes utilitarian cost arguments. Nobody is asking England to pay anything.

Tweet: “My source at Alder Hey. ‘Last night needed resuss and we literally thought it was the end. They took his oxygen away and wouldn’t hand over the resuss masks. They had them being brought to the hospital and taken by the police.’ #AlfiesArmy” I find this fascinating and key. The mental image of police barring people from bringing lifesaving equipment into a hospital explains Dante’s title choice.

Tweet: Right up until #AlfieEvans was born, the Left would insist his mother had the absolute right to choose if he’d live or die. Now, when she’s pleading with the State to let him live, they insist she has no right to choose life.”

There Is No Way To Justify The Murder Of Alfie Evans. It Is Explicitly, Unabashedly Evil. “When the death certificate for Alfie Evans is issued, under ’cause of death’ it ought to say this: pride. The pride of a judge who did not want his judgment questioned. The pride of doctors who did not want to be proven wrong. The pride of a government that claims authority over life and death. ‘Tyranny’ and ‘unconscionable evil’ could also be cited.”

Judge at center of Alfie Evans case is a pro-gay activist “Justice Anthony Hayden, the judge at the center of the Alfie Evans case, is a member of The Bar Lesbian and Gay Group (BLAGG) and co-authored book on homosexual relationships and their pertinence to children’s rights.”

Tweet: “Judge Anthony Paul Hayden, who has condemned to death #AlfieEvans, is a member of the Honorable Society of the Middle Temple, British Templar and Masonic headquarters. He is a defender of euthanasia and author of an adoption treaty for homosexual couples.”

New NHS death guidelines ‘worse than Liverpool Care Pathway’ “Prof Patrick Pullicino, one of the first medics to raise concerns over the pathway, said the national proposals would encourage hospital staff to guess who was dying, in the absence of any clear evidence, and to take steps which could hasten patients’ death.”

Another most important point. The police who by force confiscated Alfie’s ‘recuss’ masks and refuse to let Alfie’s parents take their child are just following orders. Notice how easy it is to get police to just follow orders. Notice too that citizens did not attempt to apply superior force, which would have been easy (if done quickly).

For Alfie (who is baptised Catholic): Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Update See this doctor’s thread about Alfie’s medical condition. He concludes, and we can for the sake of argument agree with him, that Alfie will not recover and will die regardless of treatment. It still does not follow that the State can execute the child, nor does it follow the State can bar the parents from seeking treatment offered elsewhere at no cost to the State. It may be that Alfie’s condition is so futile that any treatment is useless, which we can also grant, but it still does not follow the State can forbid the parents from removing their child from the State. Unless it is argued The State is Mother, the State is Father.

17 thoughts on “Alfie Evans Open Thread Leave a comment

  1. Your reply to the post does indeed show up. My comment, however, seems to linger in that place where all aborted babies go.

  2. Alder-hay hospital brought Alfie to the point he was where the bad decision was made to remove life support. The Pope is on the same side as anyone who would preserve life in healthcare to the bitter end. I am on the same side as the pope. I don’t’ just care about baby s though. Also the less photogenic.

    Alfie proved them wrong, as patients often, and I mean often, do; perhaps not in matters of life and death necessarily. He’s carried on longer than expected.

    What this case shows is that believing in prognoses as certain is foolish and leads to cruel and heartless decision making. Prognoses are always made up. Nobody knows the future. Even a statistician.

    What must be remembered is that Alder-hay brought Alfie to the point they believed they could help him no more and the natural history of the condition would indicate hastening of end of life.
    Without Alder-hay Alfie would have certainly died anyway. Carry on reading, don’t shoot the messenger;

    He is now a mascot for the murderous end of life planning which is also implemented all over the country and the world. (In cases of elderly care, terminally ill, or in cases of severe adult disability. )

    I don’t trust the accounts Briggs gives, nor the sources of description regarding the imagery of removal of resuscitation equipment and police holding fort. I believe there’s a lot of police outside the hospital by now. Thanks to social media.

    I would like to see the medical notes and hear directly from the parents. Then from the Drs before writing a newspaper article.

    Alfie was breathing independently. His heart was therefore beating. In most cases this also means consciousness although not in neurological cases, necessarily.

    His oxygen levels may well have been holding up in those circumstances. Oxygen is not necessarily required to be administrated unless the saturation levels in the blood fall below a certain point. I read that he was given fluids, IV, once it was determined he was breathing unassisted. Too much oxygen throws off the respiratory drive quite quickly and so I’m sorry to distrust the media on this one, even the parents who I trust as having the absolutely right idea and who deserve to be given any support that brings the best outcome for Alfie and reduces the shouting and chest beating from the ignorant media. That they administered to him says that something changed. Active treatment was given.

    I have had relatives shout at me for administering suction to their elderly relative on a ward as a junior. This keeps the patient comfortable and stops them from drowning in their own secretions. It doesn’t look very pleasant but clears the airway and the upper respiratory tract. If it’s done gently and quickly it is momentary discomfort for relief of horrible symptoms.
    They wanted him to die. Not so long afterwards, the rules were changed and staff are not allowed to take certain actions even if the patient will suffer as a result. My point is always that if a toddler refuses his milk, as I did, their arms are held gently while the bottle is held. Same for injections. I’ve held many an arm for the practice nurse. Why not for adults? It doesn’t need to be a horrible thing if adequate medicine is also administered.

    So this is a very real problem across the healthcare system and I hope that value for life
    Wins in the end. I think it will and hopefully Alfie’s case will keep the subject on people’s minds.

    What is wrong is that the hospital won’t let the parents take him away. It is not for the reasons Briggs suspects. They really believe that they are right and that there IS no hope. They KNOW what will happen and that there is NO other treatment available elsewhere. Sorry to say it but Alder-hey is a world leading light. They are sure of themselves and of their belief in the ‘protocols’ and the ‘science’ as it stands. That’s a big problem. Alfie proved them wrong. Only if relatives of elderly patients in their millions speak out, the system will change. The money will just have to be found from somewhere. Then perhaps there will be more staff prepared to work again in areas where they are asked to comply with protocols they cannot countenance. Quality staff back in the NHS. Not automatons.

    In my view they have lost their heart for discovering new ways of helping patients at end of life, have become resigned to the often black outlook. They have hardened and they are wrong, just as every other system that gives up on patients.

    There’s a lot to say about this subject. Lots of good can come out of miracles like Alfie.

  3. I’m British. My understanding is the Court Appoints a lawyer who’s job is to represent the interests of the child.

    When Pope John Paul II was dying he asked not to return to hospital but stayed in his private apartment accepting the inevitable and living the words he said in 2002: “It is necessary to approach the ill with that healthy realism which avoids generating in those who suffer the illusion of medicine’s omnipotence.”

    Alfie’s respirator is shredding his lungs and creating needless suffering. I can fully understand the doctor’s who are closest to him, having treated him for an extended period of time, advising the Court Appointed lawyer that there is nothing to be gained leaving this machine on.

    The only reason Alfie is alive is due to medicine’s omnipotence, and the doctors treating him have asked to be allowed to stop.

    Sure other’s wish to leap in and continue, but the court then asks is this fair – would someone with healthy realism insist on another course of treatment? The court’s answer was no.

    I don’t find that incomprehensible at all.

  4. Jon,
    Clearly the ventilator was not ‘shredding his lungs’. More hysterical nonsense.
    Steven Hawking’s Prognosis would have been two years. He proved them wrong on both diagnosis and prognosis.
    If an adult patient who is terminally ill is allowed to be discharged home and be given nursing and palliative care at home why not this baby? That is the point.
    Reason is that people care about babies and not adults or ugly disabled and disfigured people. Especially if those elderly relatives are rich!
    That’s the truth in very many cases. People are valued more when they’re dead.

  5. It is a pretty straightforward issue: The child is “brain dead”, or as the physician detailed,

    “The electrical traces of his brain and images show no activity. The bit that him HIM is damaged beyond all repair.”

    and, “…some form of mitochondrial disease- the parts of the brain cells which provide raw energy to keep those cells functioning doesn’t work.”

    The child, what’s left there, is only getting worse. Letting the remaining meat sack die of natural causes — via the removal of extraordinary medical interventions — is not murder (as some allege). The PERSON is dead and gone, only the BODY survives, sort of.

    Since religious and religious institutions have taken a stand on this specific medical case, let’s review a saintly precedent and consider how that precedent stacks up to what England/Britain are doing. Specifically, lets consider the recently canonized saint, Mother Teresa.

    AFTER ALL, we’ve all heard and/or seen, somewhere on some topic or other, someone note as a benchmark, “What would Jesus do?”

    Let’s consider as a benchmark, “What did Mother Teresa and her Order do?” as a benchmark of satisfactory care. After all, she & her Order collected $$ Millions under the guise of using those funds to care for the sick & dying poor.

    And we know that Teresa & her Order routinely provided NOTHING. Literally nothing. More often some unsanitary conditions, meager food, but little else. Many doctors volunteering their services observed, photographed, filmed, and reported this. From these we know that many under her care died when routine treatments we take for granted would have saved the lives.

    Consider her remarks: A standard so primitive that those in her care could, in her terms, “die beautifully” (many of those could easily have been saved via antibiotics we take for granted). She also said, “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s passion,” and, “The world gains much from their suffering,” and, “You know, this terrible pain is only the kiss of Jesus — a sign that you have come so close to Jesus on the cross that he can kiss you.” She is canonized after allowing her clinics to routinely forego even the most basic & affordable painkillers like aspirin; canonized for creating a mission functioning indistinguishably from a sadist’s cult of suffering and death.

    So there’s the benchmarks:

    Canonized saint Teresa & her Order had the resources to treat, yet withheld those treatments, to include facilitating otherwise easily preventable deaths — and for this she is/her Order is considered saintly.

    But England and her medical institutions & personnel tried valiantly to save a child doomed by a very rare disease that has irrevocably destroyed a child’s brain, and upon accepting the inevitable and acting accordingly by removing extraordinary medical treatments that are inaccessible to the majority of humans on this planet, and for that are condemned by many as so-called “murderers.”

    Idiocy.

    REF:

    Mother Teresa’s care for the dying, by D. Jeffrey, J. O’Neill, G. Burn, published in The Lancet

    University of Montreal Study, by Serge Larivée, Genevieve Chenard and Carole Sénéchal (According to the study, the doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions and a shortage of actual care, food and painkillers. They say that the problem was not a paucity of funds as the Order of the Missionaries of Charity successfully raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Researchers said that when it came to her own treatment, “she received it in a modern American hospital”).

    And more…

    Apologists can say, and have said, what they can, but the photographic and video evidence of the conditions to which the poor were subjected by Teresa’s Order, the Missionaries of Charity, and the near absence of real medical care given — despite the financial means to provide it [and, the promises made regarding the collection of donations being for the care of those denied the care promised] is undeniable. The apologists don’t actually address this, sidestepping to ad hominem attacks on those presenting the evidence.

  6. RE: “Does anybody have a good account of the logic behind England’s adamant decision? I am unable to make out anything except “welfare of the child”, …”

    The entire judicial decision, February 20th, 2018, is posted at:
    http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/alder-hey-v-evans.pdf

    Note that was out in the public domain on Feb 20th, 2018 — some two & a half months later Briggs lets this essay get posted, starting with, “Does anybody have a good account of the logic behind England’s adamant decision? I am unable to make out anything…”

    No research there.

    Amazing. Say what one will of the foibles of peer review, there’s something for it! Why the essay was accepted for posting, or authored and posted with its content, such as it is starting out by essentially saying, “I don’t know what I’m talking about, but here goes…”

    Then in short order the author says this:

    “I think the State’s argument is that if they do not execute Alfie, he will die a more painful and protracted death with reduced “dignity”, and so in the name of compassion it is better to kill him and put him out of his misery and thus (it follows) increase his dignity.”

    Almost immediately followed with:

    “But I admit the possibility of error. I may have misread the State’s argument. If anybody can clarify it, I’d appreciate it.”

    The assertion, “I may have misread the State’s argument” is a bold-faced LIE. If he read the court decision, he’d have no uncertainty or misunderstanding or misreading. If he did, and does, he’s a very dim bulb to put it politely. Either way, today’s essay had no business being published anywhere.

    Here’s some excerpts from the court decision, which is clear enough anyone should comprehend:

    57. Most striking is the indisputable fact that Alfie’s brain has been
    devastated by progressive degeneration. The MRI scans, as interpreted, are
    compelling. The thalami, which regulate the pathways of the brain, have entirely
    disappeared. This, I remind myself, controls the stimuli to the most basic sensory
    functions. Alfie has lost the capacity to hear, see, smell or respond to touch, other
    than reflexively.

    60. I do not
    exclude the possibility that travel by Air Ambulance may remain a theoretical
    option. It requires to be considered however in the context of the matters above and
    one further important consideration. 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
    excluded.

    62. Properly analysed,
    Alfie’s need now is for good quality palliative care. By this I mean care which will
    keep him as comfortable as possible at the last stage of his life. He requires peace,
    quiet and privacy in order that he may conclude his life, as he has lived it, with
    dignity.

    63. The plans to take him to Italy have to be evaluated against this analysis of his needs.
    There are obvious challenges. Away from the intensive care provided by Alder Hey
    PICU, Alfie is inevitably more vulnerable, not least to infection. The maintenance
    of his anticonvulsant regime, which is, in itself, of limited effect, risks being
    compromised in travel. The journey, self-evidently will be burdensome. Nobody
    would wish Alfie to die in transit.

    64. 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. F continues to struggle to accept that it is palliation not
    treatment that is all that can now be offered to his son.

    There was another philosophical view considered and applied by the Court, many readers here will undoubtedly find that view offensive. Some exerpts:

    “The growing therapeutic
    capabilities of medical science have made it possible to eliminate
    many diseases, to improve health and to prolong people’s life span.
    While these developments have proved quite positive, it has also
    become possible nowadays to extend life by means that were
    inconceivable in the past. Surgery and other medical interventions
    have become ever more effective, but they are not always beneficial:
    they can sustain, or even replace, failing vital functions, but that is
    not the same as promoting health. Greater wisdom is called for
    today, because of the temptation to insist on treatments that have
    powerful effects on the body, yet at times do not serve the integral
    good of the person. ”

    “Consequently, it is morally licit to decide not to
    adopt therapeutic measures, or to discontinue them, when their use
    does not meet that ethical and humanistic standard that would later
    be called “due proportion in the use of remedies””

    “Such a decision responsibly acknowledges
    the limitations of our mortality, once it becomes clear that opposition
    to it is futile. “Here one does not will to cause death; one’s inability
    to impede it is merely accepted””

    “It is clear that not adopting, or else
    suspending, disproportionate measures, means avoiding overzealous
    treatment; …”

    “To determine whether a clinically
    appropriate medical intervention is actually proportionate, the
    mechanical application of a general rule is not sufficient. There
    needs to be a careful discernment of the moral object, the attending
    circumstances, and the intentions of those involved.”

    “The decisions
    should be made by the patient if he is competent and able” …
    to evaluate a proposed treatment and to
    judge its actual proportionality in his or her concrete case, and
    necessarily refusing it if such proportionality is judged lacking. ”

    All that is what the court did in reaching the conclusion to “pull the plug.” It made a judgement call as described above, basically using the very same subjective criteria.

    And, by the way, those six quotes immediately above are the current Pope’s input to the case. The Court decision quotes more from the Pope, including citations of the official Church Catechism addressing allowances for ending life support (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2278).

    Removing life support in the acceptance of the inevitable and unavoidable immanent death is not murder, or the judge’s pride, or the judge’s gay activism or any other insanely idiotic thing Briggs allowed to be presented in the closing paragraphs of today’s essay. It’s an accommodation of a painful fact of life — death.

    At this point the living mass of tissue that remains of Alfie looks and even sometimes reflexively moves like a baby, but there is no humanity left…more in common there with a Dr. Frankenstein reanimated corpse. At this point the situation, providing continued life support, is approaching taxidermy.

  7. Ken:

    Everything you say is true, and well known. I would only add that the Church canonized the sadist Theresa on the basis of a “miracle” that everyone, including the Church’s investigators, knew very well to be a fraud.

  8. And Alfie has finally been allowed home.
    Ken,
    Thank you for the information.

    Your description of Alfie’s body is not entirely accurate. His MRI showed clear evidence of brain damage and brain activity in those areas being absent did not preclude the other parts of the brain which control breathing. The brain stem. The respiratory centre.
    Which begs the question why he was even on a ventilator? Something changed. Or they assumed him further gone than he was. Perhaps the intervention was for a chest infection which then cleared, which is likely, we don’t know that. There’s something fishy there.

    I make you right about the Father. Relatives don’t always understand intervention and want to manage everything. Paediatrics is the worst area for this kind of problem.

    As for this meat machine thing, well simple spinal reflexes dominate when there is no descending inhibition which creates a movement pattern that matches a new baby. The same reason why patients with cerebral palsy have altered limb positions known as spastic patterns.

    If he cannot sense anything at all then he cannot also generate the association centres necessary for pain. All of the brain is involved in pain. So people can’t have it both ways. There are adequate analgesics on the market in any event that
    NO INPATIENT NEED EVER BE IN PAIN!

    What Alfie needs, once medicine has run out of ideas is his Mother. The hospital have relented.
    Medicine, as if it were a person, does not have all the answers. Alfie’s continuing to breathe is a little miracle. Perhaps just because he proved medicine wrong.

    I posted about Alfie moments after even learning of his existence.
    My Father informed me in about three sentences. I avoid most news except what comes to my ear by accident while others are watching or listening. It’s intended to make people feel bad and most mainstream media doesn’t tell the truth. They always lie about medical cases and always about legal cases, accidentally on purpose.

    What medicine needs I s both approaches. Otherwise the atheist thinkers will slowly justify their ‘no quality of life’ argument which is both murderous and selfish. It helps them feel better, it’s cheaper, and everyone can carry on as if nothing happened. In large, well funded teaching hospitals and high profile hospitals more thought and care and intelligence is applied in patient intervention. Not so across the board. Not remotely. Private hospitals also don’t escape the charge.

    Your comment was good right up until the taxidermy, where you lost it.
    If the boy is just like a stuffed animal then he’s not feeling any pain? It works both ways.

    “end of life protocols’ are murderous. Like precautionary principles.
    Most cases are not scrutinised as this high profile case has been.

    I have heard all sorts from Christopher Hitchens about Mother Teresa. Don’t know what she really did or what the truth is there. Perhaps she wasn’t very bright.

    Yes, there is a streak through the Catholic Church which revels in sadism, always has. See the lying Australian Mel Gibson’s take on the gospels. See his Braveheart! Another film with graphic torture. A man with no knowledge or care for history and a love of the male fantasies of some teen aged boys. Famed for saying women should be bare foot, pregnant and in front of the sink. I think he coined the phrase.

  9. Tidier comment:
    Ken, Alfie and you are not just your brains or brain states.

    Thank you for the legal and clinical information.

    Your own description of Alfie’s body is not entirely accurate or objective.
    His MRI showed clear evidence of brain damage and brain activity in those areas was absent according to tests.
    This doesn’t preclude the other parts of the brain which control breathing. The brain stem. The respiratory centre.
    Which begs the question why he was even on a ventilator? Something changed. Or they assumed his condition. Perhaps the intervention was for a chest infection which then cleared, which is likely, we don’t know that. There’s something vague there.

    As for this description of a ‘meat bag’ machine:
    Well simple spinal reflexes dominate when there is no descending inhibition which creates a movement pattern that matches a new baby. The same reason why patients with cerebral palsy have altered limb positions known as spastic patterns. A situation which usually occurs in CVA where there is increased tone and which is not necessarily painful. In babies, primitive spinal reflexes, some of which persist into adulthood and are not dampened by descending activity (such as cremaster, stretch reflexes; babinski’s reflex being used as a sign of upper motor neurone defect.

    If he cannot sense anything at all then he cannot also generate the association centres necessary for pain, nociceptive or centrally mediated. All of the brain is involved in pain. So people can’t have it both ways. There are adequate analgesics on the market in any event that
    NO DEPENDANT INPATIENT NEED EVER BE IN PAIN! There is no excuse for inadequate pain relief. Proper palliative care happens when pain relief is administered commensurate with the required does, for the patients need.

    It becomes murder when the dose administered is deliberately incompatible with life BUT prior to that dose being indicated.

    What Alfie needs, once medicine has run out of ideas is his Mother. The hospital have relented. They don’t regard him as a bag of meat any more than Briggs’ idea of what they think.

    Medicine, as if it were a person, does not have all the answers.
    Alfie’s continuing to breathe is a little miracle. Perhaps just because he proved people wrong.
    My Father informed me in about three sentences of Alfie’s existence two days ago.

    What medicine needs is both approaches. Thinking AND caring. When it’s run out of thoughts it shouldn’t stop caring. Yet another reason why it is not a ‘pure science’. The ‘research’ and policy making side is not the reality of clinical work. It is not a pure or exact science. Writing a paper isn’t good enough, writing a law even, on it’s own, if staff are not of sufficient calibre. I would not say that in this case. I would certainly say so of many cases I’ve witnessed.

    Atheist thinkers will keep justifying their ‘no quality of life’ argument which is both potentially murderous and is selfish. Humans are not animals. At best it’s ignorance masquerading as caring. It helps them feel better. it’s cheap and everyone can carry on as if nothing happened. In large, well funded teaching hospitals and high profile hospitals more thought and care, clinical reasoning and intelligence is applied in patient intervention. Not so across the board. Private hospitals also don’t escape the criticism. They derive everything from NHS hospitals and the same ‘studies that show.’

    Your comment was good right up until the taxidermy, where it took an emotional turn.
    If the boy is just like a stuffed animal then he’s not feeling any pain? It works both ways.

    Christopher Hitchens took against Mother Teresa. Don’t know what she really did or what the truth is there. Perhaps she wasn’t very bright. Was she a qualified nurse? I could google it if I thought it would give a truthful return. There are parts of the world where there is no money for antibiotics. Where children are drowned, healthy ones! The best solution is information, good information. Truth but with hope, which Atheism cannot offer. There is also a policy where no active treatment is determined by ‘protocol’ eg, not treating chest infections when they inevitably set in. Just morphine, not even IV fluids.

    There is a streak through the Catholic Church which revels in sadism. See Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Not a truthful depiction of the gospels.

    The evidence is that Jesus did exist, historically. So was he telling the truth?
    There’s a lot of confusion about how this can inform medical practice but only by the ignorant.
    The answer is that science informs medical practice. Our knowledge of what gives the best outcomes. Not some cultists magic. However. Staff who work WITH patients rather than ABOUT patients (researchers and statisticians), those staff will tell you that there’s many many times where either under your breath or to the patient someone will say, “that’s not supposed to happen”. Sometimes things are so bizarre as to warrant being called a miracle. ‘benchmarks’ aren’t relevant. Staff aren’t there to ‘perform miracles’. They are there to preserve and care for life. Not give up and hasten death. They are there to follow up curious occurrences. That’s where new treatments are found.
    Atheism has nothing to say to Alfie’s family. Most atheists wouldn’t want to interfere with the comfort that faith can bring a grieving family. If you wouldn’t say it to their face why would you write it for others? Removing hope for others when you’ve got none yourself, no better idea, is dog in the manger, to say the least.

  10. In re flight risk: there was a similar case a few years ago, involving a hospital in Southampton and a child who had no chance of surviving cancer. And, no, proton therapy wouldn’t work.

    Except that, when the family did flee, to Spain if I remember correctly, and got out of gaol, and had their son treated, by proton therapy, in the Czech Republic, if I remember correctly, he did get better.

    If the NHS want us to trust them they need to treat us with more respect.

  11. My depression is worse than usual, and I’ve been trying to avoid hearing the details of this case. Consequently, I have no idea whether Briggs is right about the details, but he is spot-on when it comes to understanding the mentality at work in the National Health Service.

    Speaking as left wing Briton I am disappointed to see this issue being characterised as left vs right. Nevertheless, I think many left wingers have been and still are in denial re the NHS, refusing to believe how bad things are, even after Labour MP Anne Clwyd spoke publicly about the death of her husband under NHS “care”: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/dec/05/cameron-nhs-nursing-ann-clwyd.

    My father’s death in hospital was comparable to that of Anne Clwyd’s husband. My mother
    was browbeaten, immediately before her most recent operation, into agreeing not to be resuscitated if something went wrong. Weeks later we discovered that, without her knowledge or consent, she had been assigned permanent “Do Not Resuscitate” status, and we had to apply to have this removed. There is more to both stories, in both cases involving deceit, but I have said enough.

    To gain some idea of how extensive this has been, and how it results partly from wilful policy, please search for: “Liverpool Pathway” Telegraph.

  12. N. Ominous,
    See Ken’s comment for better clarity.
    If you’re left wing and voted to stay in the EU then you’re part of the cause.

    The story you tell is true of private and care home institutions in particular. It is across the board. I don’t know if that makes you feel better or worse!
    The policies and protocols are put in place often by non practising management with the help of statisticians who are unworthy but who have God to answer to in the fullness of time whether they believe in him or not.

    Ask yourself what you would do if you were a member of staff who had to work in a field where your practice might be informed by any of this? The answers are few. The choice is stark.

    Which is why the staff calibre has fallen through the floor.
    The pyramid scheme that is all of Europe must continue in order to sustain the machinery.
    If the NHS were to cease I wouldn’t be sentimental about it if I thought there was a better way.
    The best way is proper financial control; border control; proper selection of staff as it used to happen, so that merit as well as suitability is assessed by fellow clinicians prior to being even accepted for training.
    Those are just the three vital omissions from Labour’s fifteen year policy of death and destruction masquerading as caring for all.

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