"If we accept that life has no intrinsic value," wrote Alexandra Desanctis at the National Review, "it becomes easier to justify killing or withholding treatment from those who experience suffering."
And this is exactly what happened in the United Kingdom to Alfie Evans, a young boy who is currently fighting for his life.
Having deemed the young boy unable to survive his terminal illness, doctors have stopped treating this young boy and the government has forbidden his parents from removing him to Italy for further care. This is, of course, despite the fact that the Italian government — by recommendation of the Pope — has agreed to grant him citizenship and treatment.
"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," writes Desanctis, "even treatment outside of the state's purview."
Alfie Evans has been denied medical care because his doctors believe he cannot survive without external assistance. As a result, they say, the young boy's life shouldn't be prolonged through the use of technology. Many reports claim that his doctors have been proven partially wrong, especially since Alfie has been able to survive for a full day without the assistance of any technology, despite claims that he would only live for a few minutes — an hour at most without an oxygen supply, claimed doctors.
The National Review points out that Alfie's case has put at the forefront the question of "Who decides?"
Alfie, who seemingly has not earned the right to live by simply being human, has seen his parents, his doctors, and the government fight for control over whether he should live or die. According to doctors and judges, Alfie Evans must die. This young boy's human life, because he is suffering, has no intrinsic value.
ABC News reports that on Wednesday, Britain's Court of Appeals rejected a new bid by the parents of Alfie to take him to Italy for further treatment.
Alfie is suffering from a degenerative neurological condition that has left him with little brain function. Consequently, doctors have decided to stop caring for him, which has compelled the Vatican's children's hospital to claim willingness to treat him.
The months-long legal battle between Alfie's parents and doctors has drawn interest among Christian groups. It has also drawn intervention from the pope and Italian authorities, who claim that the parents should be granted their desire to have their son treated in Italy.
Tom Evans, the father of young Alfie, claims that he has accepted that his son will probably die, but that he still wants palliative care in line with his Catholic faith.
Evans claims that his son has continued to survive with no assistance after life support was withdrawn. On Wednesday, he said that Alfie was being given food again after 36 hours without it.
"Alfie is doing still as well as he can. He's fighting," Evans told ITV television.
Polish President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday claimed that "Alfie Evans must be saved!"
"His brave little body has proved again that the miracle of life can be stronger than death," the president wrote, according to ABC. "Perhaps all that's needed is some goodwill on the part of decision makers. Alfie, we pray for you and your recovery!"
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