Early Saturday morning, little Alfie Evans's ordeal ended. I believe with all my heart he is now in the arms of Jesus for eternity. Sadly, our ordeal to survive as a civilized, humane society continues.
Little Alfie survived for 5 days after his respirator was cut off.
Little Alfie, 23 months old, had a "degenerative neurological condition" that the British doctors failed to diagnose with any further precision. Indeed, after his life support was removed, the British medical personnel seemed shocked that little Alfie continued to attempt to successfully breathe, assisted periodically by his mother and father administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when little Alfie's lips would start turning blue. Five days later Alfie finally died.
Like little British baby Charlie Gard last fall, Britain's National Health Service officials (NHS), the British courts, and then the European court, refused to allow Alfie's parents to remove little Alfie from the hospital.
Their stated goal was to not needlessly "prolong his suffering." So, instead, they administered "death therapy" by physically preventing Alfie's parents from taking him elsewhere for medical assistance.
This heartless and dangerously precedent-setting decision was upheld in the courts even though there were viable alternatives available that would not cost the NHS a farthing financially.
The Italian people granted little Alfie citizenship in their country and sent a specially equipped ambulance plane to stand-by, ready at a moment's notice to fly Alfie and his parents to Rome for free treatment in the Vatican's Bambino Gesu ("Baby Jesus") hospital.
The British authorities posted armed guards around the hospital to prevent anyone from removing Alfie from his medical prison, which his northeast England hospital had become, despite pleas from Pope Francis himself.
This is where abandoning the sanctity of every human life ethic leads — a post-Christian, post-human culture that becomes abjectly pagan.
Britain has become an ever more secular society with each passing decade. The Britain of C.S. Lewis is a fading memory.
Alfie Evans joins a large and growing caravan of patients who have become martyrs to the "quality of life" ethic that empowers government authorities to sever the sacred bonds between parents and their children and prevent parents from doing what they believe is best for their children.
Nancy Cruzan (Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, 1990) was the first "right to die" case adjudicated by the U.S. Supreme Court. Then in more recent years we have Terri Schiavo, who was in a persistent vegetative state, whose parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, were legally denied the right to give their own daughter nutrition and hydration ("food and water"). When Terri's feeding tube was disconnected in 2005, it took her 13 days to die, apparently the same time it would take a healthy person to die when denied hydration. Obviously, Terri was in no immediate danger of death, and furthermore, death by dehydration is anything but humane.
And this is where abandoning the sanctity of every human life ethic leads — a post-Christian, post-human future. Make no mistake — the spiritual and cultural death spiral into a dangerous moral abyss is gathering alarming momentum.
It is not as if we haven't seen this scenario played out before in human history. In the name of "compassion" and "humanity," doctors in the Third Reich asserted that some human beings could slip below the minimum threshold necessary for a sufficient quality of life and were thus subject to being exterminated. The first victims of the Holocaust were 10,000 mentally challenged German children who were judged by medical authorities with swastikas on their white lab coats to be living lives unworthy of life, "Lebenswertes leben," and were gassed and cremated in a gruesome dress rehearsal for the mass killings that would follow in a few years.
Little Alfie Evans and those who have gone before him are the canaries in the coal mine, warning us that "all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" is under severe and sustained assault and must be vigorously defended or lost to the mists of history.
This is where abandoning the sanctity of every human life ethic leads — post-Christian becomes post-human, becomes pagan.
Little Alfie's plight is a window on a dark world that could be our collective future.
A society is judged by how humanely it treats the most vulnerable and defenseless in its midst. If so, America and the West are failing that basic test of decency.
Pray for Alfie, pray for us, and pray for divine deliverance from this pagan nightmare rising in our midst.