Hospital Spent Nearly $200,000 on Lawyers to Pull Plug on Toddler Alfie Evans’ Life Support
From Life News:
The hospital in England that removed the life support of British toddler Alfie Evans in April over the objections of his parents spent more than $190,000 in lawyers’ fees in the legal battle that ended in the termination of the 23-month-old’s life support.
The actual amount spent by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England, was likely much higher, because the $191,584 doesn’t include what was spent during the last week of March and four weeks in April, the BBC reported Saturday.
The financial expenditure is the latest insight into what occurred during the extensive legal battle waged by the hospital to pull the plug on Alfie’s life support. It said doing so was in the seriously ill child’s “best interests.”
Alfie, from Bootle, Merseyside, suffered from a degenerative brain condition. He had been in a semi-vegetative state for more than a year, according to the BBC.
Alfie’s case drew international attention, even prompting Pope Francis to offer support to the child’s parents, who wanted to take Alfie to a hospital in Italy.
But Alder Hey ultimately won the court case and ended Alfie’s life support on April 23. He died five days later.
The revelation of the legal expenditures—resulting from a freedom of information request—drew a harsh rebuke from the toddler’s aunt, Sarah Evans.
“We had a hospital [to take Alfie to]. We had the money to take him elsewhere. We had the plane ready. We had Alfie fighting, and they paid this to kill him? Ask yourselves why,” she wrote on Facebook.
Robert Moffit, a senior fellow with the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation, said that there’s a lesson to be learned from Alfie’s case for those on this side of the Atlantic.
“For Americans, this British case is a teachable moment,” Moffit said. “Government control of health care is government power over health care. In such a system, the exercise of personal freedom requires the bureaucrats’ permission slip.”
Alfie’s father, Thomas Evans, hinted that more information about the toddler’s final days would be released in the coming weeks.
“We wanted everyone to know that, in time as we grieve, we will be speaking out further to the buildup to Alfie’s death, and we will be speaking out the truth and in detail about the week that we had to go through,” Evans wrote on Facebook, referring to the final five days of Alfie’s life.
“No other parent should ever, ever go through [this],” Evans wrote.
LifeNews Note: Jeremiah Poff writes for The Daily Signal, where this column originally appeared.
By Anne Fox -
Some (many) times it is so embarrassing to live in the Commonwealth! James Antle lll, in "Ubuntu" an article in Chronicles of American Culture, lets the cat out of the bag about abortion and the Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge.
Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, another charming lady who happens to be the dean of EDS identified one apparent exception to Ubuntu: the “blessing” of abortion, whereby a woman can become a whole person by terminating her relationship with the “other” in her womb—even if it is a purely elective abortion undergone by a woman who “becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship” and “has every option open to her,” but nevertheless “decides she does not wish to bear a child.”
After all, says Ragsdale, “The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.” Perhaps fearing she might be misunderstood, Ragsdale continued:
“These are the two things I want you, please, to remember—abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.” She then repeated the second part of the sentence three times to make sure no one missed out on the gospel according to "St." Margaret Sanger.
By Anne Fox - Charles Krauthammer has announced that he has only a few weeks to live. He said, "I leave this life with no regrets...It was a wonderful life -- full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended."
During the battle leading up to passage of Obamacare, I found Krauthammer's analyses of what was wrong with the proposed policy and what should be done to be incredibly helpful. He had the best insight available and I will always be grateful.
I remembered, also, that he had made some very good points on abortion. When Clinton was elected, Krauthammer regretfully thought the abortion fight was over. This was one of the few times when he was completely wrong.
He complimented the Catholic Church for leading the fight against abortion and pointed out that it wasn't just the selling of baby parts that Planned Parenthood wanted to cover up. It was the fact of what really happens in their so-called "clinics".
Concerning abortion, he felt that what was morally right should be enshrined in law and wrote: "The role of democratic politics is to turn such moral sensibilities into law. This is a moment to press relentlessly for a national ban on late-term abortions."
Krauthammer did what any intelligent, fair-minded person would do, he came down on the side of the babies.
I'll be praying for him!
Photo by Washington Examiner
By Nancy Valko -
Surprising Twist to a Good News Story You May Have Seen
TV and social media are reporting a wonderful story about Dr. Eric Voigt and Nicole McGuinness. Dr. Voigt, an ENT physician, was watching the “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” TV show (one of my own semi-guilty pleasures) when he noticed that a woman on the show named Nicole McGuiness seemed to have a suspicious lump in her neck. Alarmed, Dr. Voigt turned to Facebook find her and urge her to get the lump checked. Nicole had her lump checked and it was thyroid cancer. She will be starting treatment soon and is very grateful to Dr. Voigt for his sharp eye.
However, this story has a surprising twist.
Nicole was diagnosed in December 2015 with a glioblastoma cancer in her brain at age 29 and was successfully treated and doing well after almost 3 years.
Ironically, Brittany Maynard was also 29 and had a glioblastoma brain cancer when she decided to move from California to Oregon, a state that legalized assisted suicide in 1997. She and her family moved to Oregon so that Brittany could commit physician-assisted suicide before her symptoms became more severe. The date she chose was November 1, 2014. Brittany also agreed to help Compassion and Choices (the former Hemlock Society) use her story to raise funds with the goal of legalizing physician-assisted suicide throughout the US.
After weeks of widespread and sympathetic media coverage, Brittany did take a doctor-prescribed lethal overdose on her planned date.
Ironically and 5 months later, CBS’s TV show “60 Minutes” reported on an innovative treatment for glioblastoma brain cancer . And, as I wrote in my blog “Could Brittany Maynard Have Been Saved?”, this innovative treatment was granted breakthrough status by the FDA in 2016.
No one will never know if Brittany could have been one of the people this treatment could help.
CALIFORNIA AND PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE
The first target state for Compassion and Choices’ campaign for legalizing assisted suicide after Brittany’s assisted suicide was her home state of California. Both Brittany’s mother and husband went to California to support a physician-assisted suicide bill. Although the bill apparently died in committee, Governor Jerry Brown called a special legislative session to deal with healthcare spending where the assisted suicide bill was resurrected and passed. Governor Brown then signed it into law in October, 2015. Over 100 people died by assisted suicide in the first six months after the law took effect.
However just last month, a California judge overturned the law stating that the California Legislature violated the law by passing it outside of the scope of health care spending which was given as the reason for a special session and thus was unconstitutional.
This decision was quickly appealed by the California attorney general to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals who upheld the judge’s decision.
Now Compassion and Choices has filed an appeal on behalf of a palliative care doctor and two terminally ill patients in California to get California’s law back into law.
Stay tuned for further developments.
As a former oncology and hospice nurse, I pray that Nicole has a speedy recovery from her thyroid cancer and I am still saddened by Brittany’s assisted suicide but assisted suicide is not a remedy for cancer.
I remember when just a few decades ago, AIDS was the poster disease for legalizing assisted suicide. Then it became terminal cancer after AIDS became treatable. Now the scary poster disease is Alzheimer’s.
And that’s how the slippery slope works.
Instead, we need realistic hope and real support for people and their families dealing with difficult situations rather than just offering the “solution” of death.
By Don Feder - Two celebrity suicides just days apart – a celebrated chef and a fashion icon. Both were said to be depressed. Big news -- like happy people kill themselves.
Both hung themselves, painfully emphasizing their sense of alienation and aloneness.
There are over 45,000 suicides a year in this country. That’s more than twice the number of homicides. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death -- the 2nd. among those 18 to 34.
The CDC tells us that over the past two decades, suicide rates have increased 25% in the United States. Why? If the rate of cancer deaths went up by 25%, scientists would be frantic to discover the cause.
Look to the culture.
The decline of faith. Church attendance is in a tailspin. In a 4-year period (between 2014 and 2017), the number of Catholics who told Gallup they went to church weekly fell from 45% to 39%. Faith and hope, without the one, you can’t have the other.
Fragmentation. The digital age makes us less and less connected. Who has time for conversations anymore? We used to talk face-to-face or on the phone. Now we e-mail or text. Instead of marrying, we have “relationships.”
Consider the movies on cable television: sadistic, nihilistic, ugly, cruel and filled with rage and despair. The last pictures I saw that offered hope were set almost 80 years in the past (“Dunkirk” and “Darkest Hour”).
Increasing mental-health budgets won’t cure our sickness of our soul. Prayer, reaching out and speaking sanity to stupidity might.
Fake News: The U.S. Supreme Court, Alabama, and a "gag rule".Read more
by Mary Beerworth
Executive Director, Vermont Right to Life.
Vermont Right to Life Treasurer Aids Investigation Leading to Arrests in National Scam - Huge Victory for the Unborn and Pro-Life Groups NationwideRead more
Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Visitation yesterday, the newly pregnant Mary arising in haste to make for the hill country around Jerusalem in order to take care of her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth, six months pregnant with John the Baptist (Luke 1:39-56).Read more
Words Matter by Anne Fox
The American Medical Association will soon deliberate on the recent report of its own Ethics Subcommittee on whether to support Physician Assisted Suicide, (the practice of medical professionals encouraging and aiding their patients to terminate their own lives). What the opposition doesn't want you to know isRead more