The tragedy of Alfie


Can anyone possibly imagine the anguish of the parents of Alfie Evans? They pleaded desperately with the hospital authorities and courts to simply let their child leave the hospital to get treatment elsewhere, but were denied time after time. They had to watch their child be killed by dehydration and starvation, since the hospital determined it was in Alfie’s “best interests” to kill him in this way.

They had to remain in the very institution that ordered their son’s death and watch him die. It took five agonizing days after they removed life support. The doctors, in their eminent wisdom, believed his condition (they never actually diagnosed his malady) would cause him to die right after the removal, but the boy fought on, breathed, though at one point his father stepped in to give him mouth-to-mouth.

Can you imagine? The place they took their son for treatment became their son’s death chamber. The doctors they sought for care became his executioners.

This, my friends, is what tyranny looks like in the 21st century. After spilling the blood of hundreds of millions to blot out the tyranny of the last century, we are finding out now how tyranny has returned to our midst, and it comes clad in the white coat of the doctor and the black robe of the judge.

As before, as ever, it is the state that has brought this upon us. The doctors and judges are merely the instruments, like the gulag wardens and Red Guard were the instruments of past regimes.

But it is different now. It is a “soft” tyranny, one that is hard to see or make out unless you experience it directly, like Alfie’s parents or the millions of unborn children who are killed with the abortionists’ forceps and curette.

It is a tyranny of “compassion,” where the state assumes it knows what is best for the individual and, with deadly hubris, dismisses the authority of the parents.

Life, in the eyes of the state, only has value when it decrees so. Those seeking to end their lives voluntarily are allowed to do so if they think their lives are no longer worth living. At least in that case the individual is making the call, but the power to grant and take life still rests with the state and is abused thereby.

“What about the death penalty?” you may say. Flawed as it is, the underlying principle there is that by murdering innocent persons, the perpetrator has given up his right to life. It is precisely because life is so precious that someone who has killed 20 innocent people or murdered cops must surrender their own life in return. It is the state’s obligation to arrest such a person and try them fairly and administer justice blindly.

Of course, we know this system is flawed and so we rightly question the validity of capital punishment, of the state having the right to end someone’s life.

And so should we question the state’s right in the cases of sick children or disabled children or unborn children. In fact, I would argue that the state, in those cases, should do everything to PROTECT those lives and not instead be the instrument of their destruction.

But that is what the modern state has become, a baby-killing machine on par with the pharaohs of old, or the murderous King Herod of Israel, who both killed the innocents to protect their power.

And so we are in the same place as the women of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, whose pain was described by evangelist Matthew:

“A voice was heard in Ramah,

Wailing and loud lamentation,

Rachel weeping for her children;

She refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” (Matt 2:18)

Every time we assent to the death of an innocent child, either directly or indirectly, we push our civilization ever closer to hell on earth. Such crimes against humanity erode our common bond and commitment to goodness and leave us at the mercy of the bloody tyrannies of old. They must not stand, and we cannot stand by.

Trey Hoffman
Peachtree City, Ga.