In the United Kingdom, a young boy is fighting for his life. Alfie Evans’s doctors have deemed him unable to survive his terminal illness, and the state has forbidden his parents from removing him to Italy for further care, despite the fact that the Italian government has granted him citizenship and Italian doctors have agreed to treat him.
This situation is a barbaric display of what can happen when judges have the authority to arbitrarily prevent parents from seeking treatment for their own child, even treatment outside the state’s purview. According to this judge, and the doctors he echoes, Alfie Evans must die, and he must die now.
But this case is also an example of what can happen when our culture of death embraces the idea that human life, most especially the lives of suffering children, has no intrinsic value. (This belief is evident, too, in the growing debate over end-of-life care, physician-assisted suicide, and euthanasia.)