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Pray for Alfie Evans: Victim of socialized medicine

EDITORIAL
April 28. 2018 5:52PM

A woman looks at flowers, candles and children's toys left as a memorial to Alfie Evans -- the 23-month-old boy who died a week after his life support was withdrawn -- outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, Britain, April 28, 2018. (REUTERS/Phil Noble)



For five days, 23-month-old Alfie Evans clung to life at Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

When Alfie's doctors gave up on him, his parents wanted to take the boy to Italy to treat his degenerative neurological condition. Barring that, they want to take him home to die.

The hospital refused, and in Great Britain, Big Brother knows what's best for every patient. The hospital took Alfie off life support last Monday. He died early Saturday morning.

When we put the state in charge of the medical care we receive, we cede control over our own lives. Even well-meaning bureaucrats can't place the same value on a young boy's life as his parents. Yet they are trusted to determine that child's best interests. We become not citizens, but subjects.

This is inevitable, once we surrender responsibility. Socializing our health care would inevitably lead to state officials rationing care. It would be irresponsible of them not to use their best judgment on how to allocate scarce public resources.

America's Founders rebelled from Great Britain so that Americans could control their own destiny. We can think of fewer liberties more essential than the ability to care for a sick child.

Perhaps Alfie Evans' parents wanted to make the wrong decision, clinging to false hope for a child beyond the reach of modern medicine. But it is their decision to make, not a doctor's, or a hospital's, or a national health service's.

In Great Britain, the state routinely decides which innocent lives have value.

May the United States never reach that point.


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