I hate the terms “ableism” and “implicit bias.” They smack of linguistic and political trendiness. But now comes Britain’s National Health Service to show us what those words mean, and suddenly they’re menacing, not trendy. 

As I write this, Alfie Evans still lives in spite of the best efforts of the NHS. I hope that he’s in the arms of his loving parents. Even a child with disabilities who’s been written off by his doctors deserves that much. As for the people who are trying to rush this child to the exit doors, Pete has summed them up nicely. 

Alfie’s family didn’t ask to be in a position of having to defend their child’s right to nutrition and hydration, or to defend their own right to have custody of their son. But they’re fighting back, publicly. They’re telling their son’s story. That’s the least and the most they can do.

When health care providers for a disabled child like Alfie deem that care is “futile,” and when the child’s parents are then denied the right to take their child to another facility that has agreed to accept him, then I know the controlling ethic is “better dead than disabled.”  

Don’t think this is a story from Britain that has no relevance here. When nutrition and hydration are considered to be medical treatments instead of ordinary care – and some states have written that into statute – the risk increases that what’s happening to Alfie could happen to anyone’s disabled child or parent or partner. 

It’s asking a lot, for a family to surrender its privacy as a child is dying or critically ill. But no doctor or hospital or insurer or judge should be able to count on that privacy to screen them from scrutiny when it comes to denying food and water to a disabled patient. When that perfect storm of disability and bad law strikes, may we have the guts to tell our loved one’s story and to push back on the so-called experts, as Alfie’s parents are doing.

Ellen Kolb is a writer and pro-life activist. She covers New Hampshire public policy on the life issues at leavenfortheloaf.com.  

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This from Instapundit on the death of Stephen Hawking jumped out at me.

Stephen Hawking dies aged 76 peacefully at his home — 55 years after the world-famous physicist was diagnosed with ALS and given just two years to live.

Hawkins was diagnosed in 1963 the year I was born. Judeo-Christian values were still the norm in England and America. The Hippocratic oath had not been re-written. It was a time when the right to life was a given, where assisted suicide, euthanasia and the “right to die” was limited to a lunatic fringe as opposed to being accepted by all the right thinking elites.

So I ask you this:

If Stephen Hawking was diagnosed today and told he had two years to live what are the odds that he decides to take his own life? Furthermore how man potential future Stephen Hawkings have we either killed or encouraged to kill themselves?

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Jack Kevorkian died yesterday at the age of 83, after complications from pneumonia and kidney problems.  (NYT story here.) Kevorkian had been in the hospital for a month, and, despite his failing condition, did not seek unnatural ways of ending his life.  By all accounts, the 83-year-old fought for his life until yesterday.

Unfortunately, he lost that battle.  Now, Kevorkian will never understand that the cause to which he dedicated his life was horrifically wrong, that doctor-assisted death is not a part of medicine, nor that so-called euthanasia is anything but compassionate.  Now, none of the seven billion people on this planet can hear words that could change history: “I was wrong”.  Kevorkian will never be the Bernard Nathanson of the pro-life movement, natural death or not.

Ronald Reagan said that everyone who is pro-choice has already been born.  On the other end of life, advocates for doctor-assisted death do not realise how wrong they are until it is too late – until they are already dead.   We can see that “euthanasia”, which begins as a voluntary procedure (or as voluntary as it can be, given the circumstances these people are in) has become much less voluntary.  In the Netherlands, upwards of 20% of people who are put to death do not even know that it is happening, let alone consent.  Oregon considered not paying for some cancer treatments but paying for suicide.  (When the government takes your money for your own health care and refuses to give it to you unless you kill yourself, there is a problem that goes far beyond helping terminally ill people through their final days.)

That the culture of death lead to such perversions is hardly surprising: euthanasia is predicated on the belief that the right to life is not unalienable, nor the right from which all other rights flow.  It also warps the meaning of “human dignity” from a concept in which all humans, regardless of state and station in life, are considered of equal and infinite worth, to a conditional meaning of the term.  Euthanasia, like abortion, is about conditional love, conditional rights, and conditional human dignity.  Strong people get them; the weak, elderly, and young do not – a situation which is the exact opposite of the aims of any sane civilisation.

that 2% of ALL Dutch deaths are now from euthanasia:

The number of reported Dutch cases of euthanasia or assisted suicide rose 13 percent last year, the government said on Wednesday, spurring talk of a possible “euthanasia hospital” to help people end their lives. The annual report of the regional commissions that oversee the Netherlands’ euthanasia law said there were 2,636 cases in 2009, the vast majority of them euthanasia, or “mercy killing“, as opposed to assisted suicide, or helping someone to die.

That represented about 2 per cent of all Dutch deaths last year, based on figures from Statistics Netherlands. Of the cases, slightly over 80 percent were cancer patients and more than 80 per cent of the deaths occurred in the patient’s home.

The scary thing about this story is that it is so matter of fact. Once you decide that life doesn’t have value, this kind of thing is easy.

And if you believe that all of these deaths were with the consent of the killed, and did not have a financial incentive (cutting medical costs etc) then I have a bridge to sell you. To the supporters of Obamacare this is what is called a “feature”.

If you want to know what a post Christian society looks like this is it, and it’s coming to a state near you.

If you want to know why the Hippocratic Oath had to go and why Pro Life people fight so hard, it’s because we see the endgame and it’s not pretty.