In the summer of 2017 in Britain, Connie Yates and Chris Gard where given the devastating news that their infant son Charlie was terminally ill. The Great Ormond Street Hospital determined that their son's life was no longer of value. A harsh way to put it, but the truth usually is harsh. That's why so many people refuse to accept it. We know that this is true though just by watching what happened.
Through Connie's own research she found an experimental treatment in the United States that could possibly help her son, the specialists behind the treatment agreed. The parents had even managed to cover the cost of transportation for their son to the United States to receive that treatment. The Courts ruled that they as parents had no right to take their child to the U.S. where he may have even though a small chance of living, he at least had a chance to live. They, meaning the Great Ormond Street Hospital based on nothing more than a profit and loss algorithm decided he needed to die. They, of course, hid this by claiming to be thinking of the best interest of the child and his right to die. Right to die? The courts agreed and young Charlie Gard passed away on July 28, 2017
Would Charlie have lived if he had been allowed to come to the United States? That's simply a question that now, will forever remain unanswered. You can hear Connie and Chris tell their own story below.
Now, in the spring of 2018, we find an almost identical case as far as a terminally ill child, and parents being denied the right to take their child to another country for treatment unfolding once again, in Great Britain.
His name is Alfie Evans, and his parents are facing the same inconceivable roadblock as did Connie Yates and Chris Gard last year. Except for this time, it is Alder Hey Children's hospital, but with a single payer system, it is all the government. The courts will not let them take their child to Italy where he may receive a treatment that could possibly help him. Italy went so far as to have an airlift waiting at the hospital. Transportation would have cost the NHS (National Health Service) nothing. In fact, as with Charlie Gard, Alfie going to another country for treatment would have saved them money. Below is Alfie's father Tom Evans.
What? That's right. Both of these cases are very similar in that both of these children would have been transported at no cost to the British government at all. The new treatment would cost the British government $0. The fact that either of these two children was being treated elsewhere, (meaning another country), meant the British government stood to save tens of thousands of dollars. Yet, they insist on refusing to let them leave. It makes no sense right?
As a father, I can certainly identify with these people even though I cannot fathom the pain they have endured.
As a realist though, I can also understand the pragmatism of the courts and hospital. Times like these are actually why I am glad I am a realist. I would never be able to think about this issue rationally without turning off my emotions towards it.
So let's think about that for a minute. Britain is very protective of their single payer or socialized health care program. They tout it as a great success, and here we have two young children in separate cases who tied to leave the protection of that government controlled healthcare to seek treatment in another country at no cost whatsoever to the government.
Only one thing makes any sense to me here when looking at it from the angle of pure logic— if Charlie Gard had received a miracle treatment in the United States and was still alive and healthy today, that would not have looked good for jolly old England’s prize pearl. If Alfie Evans was allowed to go to Italy and received lifesaving treatment, it would mean that Britain's perfect socialized healthcare care system has failed.
The doctors and the bureaucrats would be wrong which means the entire system is wrong. And once people realized this, the government would likely be buried in requests to leave the country for treatment elsewhere causing their single-payer healthcare system to implode.
Apparently, this is simply unacceptable to the British government. Unacceptable to the point that they would rather hold yet another young child hostage to die, rather than to admit that they could be wrong. I mean, it is the only way to make sure that no one can make that claim.
They will simply deny Alfie and his parents, the right to even find out, just like they did with Charlie Gard and his parents.
These are two cases that have been picked up by enough media sources to hit the mainstream and generate support from people around the world. In Alfie's case, police had to prevent supporters from storming the hospital. Alfie's case has also caught the attention of a British doctors group called The Medical Ethics Alliance who called the treatment of Alfie "medical tyranny.” They stated, “We are deeply concerned and outraged by the treatment and care offered to Alfie Evans.”
Whether any pressure this group may be able to apply will be of any help is still unknown at the time of this writing, but this all helps to bring this issue more and more into the public light.
How many other children (who have no champions in the media) are simply deemed not worth the cost of caring for them by a bureaucrat every year in Britain? How many people period? I mean, is that really what we want our society to be? One that sees human life as nothing more than what some algorithm determines its value to be?
Having the ability to see things pragmatically (the end justifies the means) as this National Health System does in Britain, it's absolutely logical to me, it's exactly what I would do if I were a corporation because it makes the most sense to the bottom line. Try to throw in all the bleeding heart crap you want, everyone knows that that is what everything comes down to— the bottom line.
But that's where my understanding ends. To destroy a human life by denying the possibility of life from another source, just in order to protect a flawed system is an emotional decision, and it comes down to pride. A refusal to even allow these people to try because of the possibility that it may prove them wrong is nothing short of murder.
I hope people here in the United States start to take notice of stories like this. This is the inevitable outcome of a single-payer health care system. The devaluation of life by putting that decision into the hands of someone who has never even met you. I mean, what the hell do they care? Scratch out one name and replace it with another— that's it, and the government saves a ton of money that never seems to be used to improve the quality of care.
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Written by C H Coutts
I seek the truth, no matter where it may lead me.
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