Monday, April 30, 2018
Here is my friend and colleague, Carter Snead, on the Alfie Evans case:
This decision reflects a profound, indeed lethal intolerance of dependence and disability. But it is even worse than that. Just as in the Charlie Gard case, the courts here effectively terminated the rights of Alfie's parents, forbidding them to seek transfer to other facilities that wished to care for Alfie. Both Pope Francis and the Italian government pled for Alfie's life, going as far as to make him an honorary Italian citizen and offering air transport to a pediatric hospital in Rome. But the UK government refused.
It has been disheartening, for me, to read the comments of some Catholics who seem more concerned about either lecturing others that the Catholic position cannot be reduced to mere "vitalism" (who thinks that it can?) or about the possibility that some will invoke this case as a reason to hesitate about single-payer health-care regimes than about the "life that is unworthy of life" reasoning underlying the refusal to allow Evans's parents to treat him.