The authorities of the UK have doubled down on two things in the last 24 hours, things that ought to send chills down the spine of everyone who imagines Western government is still guided by principles of consensual governance and freedom.
Britain’s high court has ruled that 23-month-old Alfie Evans’s parents cannot take him to Italy – at expenses no part of which would be borne by the UK – for medical care.
British toddler Alfie Evans, who has been diagnosed with a fatal disease and has been in a semivegetative state for over a year, will not be allowed to leave the country for treatment, a UK court says https://t.co/JSV87AlfwH pic.twitter.com/ZsvJKipAvg
— CNN International (@cnni) April 26, 2018
Let’s just state that clearly. The British state will not allow parents who are blameless in every way, and against whom nothing wrongful is alleged, to take their child with them on a trip out of the country. The purpose of the ruling is to ensure that Alfie Evans dies.
In a beautifully written piece at RedState, Kira Davis points out how similar this is to the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
Socialism, she says, needs people. If people keep trying to flee the consequences of socialism, the only thing a determinedly socialist state can do is imprison them. Using the force of state authority, socialism has to prevent people from leaving.
Davis is right about that. The inevitable consequence of “socializing” medical care is state decisions to enforce death. That’s what is being done to Alfie Evans. The little boy, who has a degenerative neurological condition, has been taken off life support, and after hours of his parents giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in his hospital room has been breathing on his own. But the hospital is withholding further oxygen support, as well as water and nutrition, because the decision has been rendered that Alfie Evans will die, no matter what it takes.
I honestly want some physician to give a medical defense of this.
The child was taken off oxygen, was breathing on his own for HOURS…and the hospital…REFUSED TO PROVIDE OXYGEN AGAIN?
This is not humane. Not by any medical standard. https://t.co/RcKBpqyJyX
— Pradheep J. Shanker, M.D., M.S. (@Neoavatara) April 24, 2018
The parents are not allowed to take him out of a hospital where he is being starved and dehydrated to death. The Evans family is trying to flee that consequence. The state won’t let them.
The other thing the UK has doubled down on is speech it doesn’t like. The police have literally warned that they are monitoring social media for speech against the state’s actions on the Alfie Evans case, and that what they see “may be acted upon.”
We've issued a statement this evening to make people aware that social media posts which are being posted in relation to Alder Hey and the Alfie Evans situation are being monitored and may be acted upon. Read the full statement here: https://t.co/epopt5bhmY
— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) April 25, 2018
Dear friends, this is collectivist totalitarianism, full blown. Whether there are literal concentration camps is an administrative detail – at best, an accident of the calendar.
I suggest one more point we mustn’t miss. The end of collectivist totalitarianism is death. That’s what it is about: enforcing death. The slavery before death is a transitional arrangement.
In the UK, collectivist totalitarianism has labored over many decades to sell itself as an angel of light, in the guise of the National Health System. But the enforcement of death that we see with Alfie Evans (and with Charlie Gard last year) was always its end.
The false promise of “cost-free” health care imposes a cost higher than even its fiscal unsustainability. It imposes the real sentence of death: arbitrary, and for reasons that cannot be responsibly adjudicated, but only urged by pathetically situational certainties – or even just for pure evil.
Britain teeters on the brink tonight, asked to choose between life and death. We mortal men control neither, but we can align ourselves with one, or with the other.
They are not flip sides of a single coin. Our approach to them is not a choice between morally equal propositions. Aligning with life is about respect and hope. We constitute governments, as America’s Founders said in the Declaration of Independence, for precisely that purpose.
Aligning with death is about pride, pessimism, and power. Government should never hold a whip-hand over us for the latter purposes. We need public authority to prize life. We do not need a public authority that can overrule family or conscience to decree death.
Pray for Alfie Evans and his parents. But pray for Britain too. I have a feeling there will be no peaceful turning back, if the British state can’t find a way to align with life, and grant a little boy clemency.