By Wesley J. Smith
Another family in the UK is fighting to keep doctors from forcing their sick baby off of life support. From The Mirror story:
Charlie Gard supporters are rallying round the family of a seriously ill little boy as his parents face a battle with medics to keep him alive.
Tiny Alfie Evans in being treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and suffers from a mystery condition staff are struggling to diagnose.
The 14-month-old family are hoping to find pioneering treatment for their little boy abroad.
Alfie has been in a coma in the hospital’s intensive care ward since last December, and suffers regular seizures.
As in the Charlie Gard case, doctors have warned they may have to take legal action as Tom [Evans] will not let them switch off Alfie’s life support.
That’s a twist: Unlike in Charlie Gard’s case, there is no firm diagnosis. Why would doctors try to force a baby off of life support when they haven’t been able to determine the cause of his cognitive disability?
But realize, as in all “futile care” cases, the treatment is unwanted by doctors because it is working.
Hence, it isn’t the treatment but Alfie’s life that would be declared futile if the courts pulled another “Charlie Gard.” Half a dozen US hospitals may be willing to offer alternative care for the Alfie:
Tom and Alfie’s mum, Kate James, have not yet faced a court battle like and are hopeful it will not come to that after more than a dozen American hospitals said they might be able to help.
Tom said: “I’m pleading for help from anywhere now. I’ve been getting in touch with lots of hospitals, and I’ve had a particularly positive response from one in Miami, which has received Alfie’s details.”
Hopefully, the international brouhaha over Charlie will make it more difficult in Alfie’s case for the authorities to impose another “futile patient” die-sooner-than-later outcome.
P.S. Alfie’s parents have established an “Alfie’s Army” Facebook Page for those who may be interested.
Editor’s note. Wesley’s great column appeared at National Review Online and is reposted with permission.