Saturday, April 28, 2018

Alfie Evans

1. When a doctor says A and a parent says B, I tend to go with what the doctor says. Usually the doctors are right. After reviewing Alfie's case, I believe that the boy is already brain dead and will never recover. Further treatment is a waste of resources.
2. If the doctor says it's hopeless, the parents have a right to seek a second opinion. But Italian doctors who have observed Alfie agree with the UK doctors.
3. Courts sometimes have to rule on what's in the best interests of the child. If the doctor says the child needs antibiotics and the parents say the child needs holistic organic regression therapy, the court should probably rule in favor of the doctor. But it's in the best interest of a child to live, not just receive palliative care.
4. If a patient is brain dead, not even palliative care serves any purpose. The only reason I can think of for a British court to insist that Alfie finish dying in a UK hospital is to uphold the authority of the doctors over the parents.
5. But this isn't just about socialized medicine vs private medicine. People needs to understand that life starts and stops with the brain. It's the only organ in the body that can never be replaced or transplanted. In the Baby K case, a hospital was required to keep an anencephalic infant on life support for 2 years because the mother would not accept that the baby was born brain dead.
6. Hospitals should not be required to eat the cost of keeping brain dead patients alive. Neither should insurance companies or the NHS for that matter. If Alfie's Army wanted to raise money for this hopeless case, they should have been allowed to do so.

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