Alfie Evans Must Die So the Nanny State May Live

By John Zmirak Published on April 25, 2018

I was trying to explain the Alfie Evans case to a friend. And finding it hard to do it. Not without resorting to bleak theories that allege the darkest motives. In case you’ve missed it, Alfie Evans is a chronically ill British child whose parents want to remove him from a Liverpool hospital to try alternative treatments. And the hospital is defying them. Denying him further treatment. Leaving him to die.

While the State might entrust most kids to their biological parents, they’re really on loan.

“So this is just the National Health Service, isn’t it? They’re trying to cut costs.” So she said, trying to make sense of the case.

Well, no. Not directly. Yes, rationing is a huge part of government health care. But it’s also part of private insurance. Chances are, your plan won’t cover elective bariatric surgery (though that might extend your life). There are also limits to how much it will pay even for directly life-saving treatments. We live in a world of limited resources.

Yes, the death of Charlie Gard, and the planned death of Alfie Evans, are partly the fruit of socialism. But not directly. After all, as some observers pointed out online, the Italian government offered to fly poor little Alfie in and care for him. It also has socialized medicine. In theory socialists could embrace the sanctity of life. Even as they trample over property rights and crucial liberties.

Socialism Undermines Humanity

That rarely plays out in practice, however. Socialism saps the dignity of the individual. By separating him from the consequences of his decisions, it infantilizes him. (See my essay of last year on why.) If you make the State your Nanny, you’re admitting that you’re still a child. And children don’t make life or death decisions. We leave those to the adults.

If you make the State your Nanny, you’re admitting that you’re still a child. And children don’t make life or death decisions. We leave those to the adults.

The biggest difference socialist medicine makes is one of attitude. Putting the centralized State in charge of virtually everyone’s health decisions encourages bureaucrats to think that they have the right to make all such decisions. Even when people can pay for services themselves, or raise the money to do it from well-wishers.

That’s how statism works. It’s how we see the standards imposed in government (public) schools eventually pushed on to private schools. Then even home schools. In its worst form, you get laws like the one Hitler’s Germany passed, which is still in force, banning home schools altogether.

Dissent Is Not Permitted

Next these public officials decide that they can impose their own ethical judgments on every citizen. Dissenters with different, religiously driven values will end up the victims of coercion. See how the state of California is poised to impose a pseudo-medical judgment — that homosexual desires are both normal and unchangeable — on its citizens. Soon it may be illegal not just to hang out a shingle offering to help reluctant homosexuals curb their desires. You could go to jail even for selling books that help them practice chastity. Could a pastor be punished for repeating the official teaching of historic Christian churches on the subject? We might not find out until one of them gets arrested, and his case goes to court.

My friend tried another theory: “So the authorities see that Alfie is suffering, and they want to put him out of his misery.”

Ah, no. There is no evidence that young Alfie Evans is in untreatable pain. Doctors are at hand with pain medication if he needs it, which his parents aren’t refusing. In fact, it’s the doctors who are denying Alfie Evans what he needs. First they cut off his oxygen tube, thinking that he’d die without it. They even prepared a euthanasia drug to give him despite his parents’ refusal. For some reason, perhaps the fact that it’s used to execute murderers in the U.S., they took that off the table.

Now little Alfie has been defying medical predictions and breathing for many hours on his own. So the doctors have stepped up their abuse. They won’t let his parents take one of the oxygen masks lying just outside the hospital room and help Alfie’s breathing. They’re denying him food and even water. This is now a case of state-imposed euthanasia by a cruel and painful means. And it’s being done in defiance of his parents’ explicit wishes. And in the teeth of the Italian government, which granted Alfie citizenship in the hope of protecting him.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream »

Your Children Are Really on Loan from the Government

“So what on earth is going on over there? Why is the British government courting all this controversy? Why don’t they just let his parents put him on a plane? Let Italy deal with it.” My friend was getting exasperated.

Finally, stripped of every less grim and apocalyptic answer, I came at last to this one: This is a point of principle. The doctors and the judges who back them in the war against Alfie Evans are fighting to set a precedent. To establish a point of law. And that is this: Parents don’t matter. Even a fit mother and father with a child’s best interests at heart don’t get to make these decisions. The State does.

Thus every baby born in Britain and countries like it is really the child of the government. While it might see fit to entrust most such kids to their biological parents, they’re really on loan. Just as citizens can’t really defend their homes against invasion by burglars in Britain, nor can they make crucial decisions for their children. Not if their choices flout the utilitarianism of a secular theocracy.  

You May Not Continue that Pregnancy

I see where this is leading. As much of a nightmare as the Alfie Evans case is, the British government is pursuing it to lay the groundwork for something much worse. You’ve no doubt read how some governments seek to eradicate Down Syndrome by encouraging abortion. (It was once-Christian Iceland, not Communist China, that announced its goal of aborting 100% of such children.) As hideous as that is, it isn’t yet coercive. Parents in Britain still have the right to decide against abortion in such cases.

But for how long will they? If the State can decide that for a child like Alfie, life itself has no value, and impose that on his parents, what does that mean? How many years before the same medical “ethicists” who deny little Alfie food and water decide that the same principle applies to all handicapped children? They can save the health system money, by nipping such kids in the bud. They can also witness to what they consider crucial moral principles:

  • Human life is not sacred.
  • Suffering has no meaning.
  • Citizens belong to the state.
  • Dissidents will be silenced.

So you can see why the medical and legal authorities are fighting so doggedly. His parents may be fighting for Alfie, but the establishment’s fighting for Nanny. And Nanny must always win.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Tim Pan

    Wake up America.

  • Diogenes71

    Yet people wonder why high school kids are killing their peers.

  • Janet Johnson

    And how long before it is also imposed on the elderly and handicapped?

    • benevolus

      This is already like Aktion T4 as it is. Who knows.

  • Stephen D

    Alfie represents one side of socialised medicine in Britain, which is the control by the state of health care, right down (as in this case) to matters of life and death. But there is another side. That is the effect of state control on doctors and nurses in the system. Doctors and nurses are now simply members of a state-controlled bureaucracy. They have lost their independent capacity as compassionate carers and scientific practitioners.
    The advance of socialism in Britain, which started there with Karl Marx in the 1840s, has been inexorable. Socialism has steadily gained a stranglehold in Britain, throttling the spiritual, artistic, and intellectual life of the country. Medical research in Britain – once a world leader – has virtually ceased to produce anything of value.
    Pray for Christians in Britain! Socialism is the new Caesar. It demands worship from its citizens, demanding their allegiance above allegiance to any other god – above God Himself. The purpose of court battles in cases like that of Alfie Evans is not just to set a precedent of state control. It also to put Christians on notice. It is interesting that there are no news reports of church leaders in Britain standing up for Alfie and his parents. Remember what happened to the churches in Germany in the 1930s?

    • Stephen, in response to your last question, I suspect very, very few know what happened with the German churches in the 1930s. That is a frightening, yet valid comparison to draw.

      • Vincent J.

        What did happen to the German churches in the 1930s? (Don’t make me google it.)

  • Brian Kirk


  • Paul

    “Thus every baby born in Britain and countries like it is really the child of the government.”

    At some point too late, some people will wise up and realize that citizenship now actually means you are owned.

  • bbb

    Great Britain is not a democracy or a Republic. It is a Monarchy.
    People there are subjects, not citizens.
    To apply American standards of freedom to other nations is ridiculous.
    That is why it is so important to stand for our USA Constitution, in fact, to die for it.
    The lives of subjects are cheap.
    In Great Britain the Bible in its entirety is not permissible speech. God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are loathsome to the Muslim governor of London and many evangelical preachers from other nations are banned from the nation.
    When God is kicked out of a place things go badly for the people.
    That is always true, has always been true and will always be true.
    The lesson to learn from this poor child’s plight is that Great Britain is a cold-hearted master who treats its subjects with indifference. Voting Democrat in the USA will lead American citizens to the same end.

    • benevolus

      “When the unrighteous rule, the people groan.”

    • It seems that many Brits are calling for democracy (mob rules) not realizing that this is not what The USA is -even though the msm wrongfully keeps labeling America a democracy -this is wrong. America is a Constitutional Republic founded on God given Rights & Liberty with law & order. It’s the understanding from The US founders that Rights, Liberty, Law and Order) are from God not man. This realization within the foundation of the nation is what made America extraordinary and blessed. Unfortunately now the satanic dem party and the rinos are in cahoots with deep state. It will really take the power of Christ to fix BOTH America and England.

    • Vincent J.

      “When God is kicked out of a place things go badly for the people.”‘

      Romans 1:28-29 … they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness …. (NIV)

  • benevolus

    And now you know, unless you are a totally brainwashed idiot of the Left, the purpose behind the Second Amendment. This kind of maltreatment would be a lot harder in the USA because the pseudo-sovereigns behind this madness could (and should) simply be shot dead. It may take so-called “assault weapons” with “high capacity magazines” to get the job done. Lethal force in the hands of the citizenry is the only final defense against tyranny. The government must fear the people, not the other way around. (BTW, if I were president, I would send in the Seals to rescue this kid and let PM May tell me what she thought about our two countries’ “special relationship” after that mission was done.)

  • Kevin Carr

    If Alfie was a royal would we even be having this discussion?

    • Paul

      Hammer meets nail right there.

    • Vincent J.

      Good catch I hadn’t even thought of that.

  • Thomas

    Boy you are mixing up two diametrically opposing world views. The problem with the health care system is not socialism but capitalism. In capitalism a person gets a price tag and that is how much is spend to keep them alive. The UK system is not as bad as the US one but the government aspires to f.. it up like it is across the pond.

    The problem of patronizing is the actual malady in this case. And that has nothing to do with either socialism or capitalism but with an overreaching government. What an overreaching government is that is another question. This question must probably be answered by citizens of actually democratic countries like the ones in Europe and not broken by design ones like the US.

    • strawmanbeater

      “…the Italian government offered to fly poor little Alfie in and care for him. It also has socialized medicine. In theory socialists could embrace the sanctity of life. Even as they trample over property rights and crucial liberties.”

      Could, say a Capitalist healthcare system like the US, allow the child to be flown into another country to be treated, or could the parents have their child treated they way they wish, or could they even take charitable money from others to have their child treated as they wish, and if so, why can’t they do it in at socialized healthcare system like the UK?

    • John

      U do not gave a clue what u r talking about. It was capitalism that built medicene.. your socialist healthcare has been a leth failure EVERYWHERE. Look at the mess in Canada and Great Britain to say nothing of the former commie block or Venezuela

      • Thomas

        Dear John.
        Capitalism did not build medicine. Capitalism monetizes medicine to profit from suffering. Healthcare can only work in a social framework like the Judaeo-Christian one. Caring for the weak and the sick and the elderly is a social endeavour.
        Apart from that it does not help you or anyone for that matter to see the world in black and white, socialist and capitalist. The is a very large grey area in between where we can approach truth, the extremes are most certainly false.

        • Shears-of-Atropos

          Is that not the same as transferring the suffering of the individual to the populace, so that all suffer equally? Resources aside, if one is ill, will you enslave the physician because you demand his resources and his skill? So it’s better to enslave everyone a “little bit” so the doctor gets his “greedy” pockets filled? I note that in all these “fair” economic systems, voluntary action (charity) is not voluntary at all … it is mandatory. It’s called Tax.

          In the perfect state, that which is not prohibited shall be mandatory.

          Sound familiar? FYI: German eugenics reform started by killing Alfie. “for the benefit of all”. Pure socialism. NSDAP.

          • Thomas

            That is exactly the point. The suffering of the few is transferred to the many so that the one suffering is relieved.

            In a peaceful society everyone must be enslaved a little bit for it to work. You are enslaved a little bit and that is a good thing. It is called laws. Without laws that constrain people we would have anarchy and that is hell on earth.

          • Shears-of-Atropos

            So, short answer, slavery is necessary for social order.


        • Pray that Christ takes over the medical field overall. It’s this big pharma (witchcraft) and the dual snake hermes emblem (evil) -there is no interest in cures and only interest in huge profits and controlling lives.

    • Shears-of-Atropos

      Socialism has, underneath, a contradiction. (1) is about fairness and equality for all, and this means the size of the pie matters. If there’s only one pie and 4,000 people, they all starve. This leads to the need for allocation of resources (by government), which demands efficiency. The only way equality and efficiency co-exist, is when you get max benefit, given the required cost. Sounds like capitalism? (2) The solution to this paradox is to lower the benefits until you are in line with the available resources. Let’s not make that pie bigger, we’ll just give every one a smaller piece. The result is always the same. Every one shares the same level of poverty, and to be fair… anyone who needs more will do without. Period.

      In Alfie’s case, hello Death Panel. You lose, kid, in the interest of fairness.

      Bye-bye! (smooch)

      • Thomas

        I leave it to you as an exercise to find the flaws in your theory.

    • buck

      Yes, medicine and staying alive has a price tag and the price for staying alive used to be quite affordable. It worked well when the patient paid the doctor for his services and then came “insurance.” Medical insurance is not insurance at all but an income subsidy. Because it is an income subsidy, there are not unlimited amounts of health care funds available to anyone and everyone, so the Alfie’s of the world are allowed to die. However, if gov’t had not stepped in with these subsidies the Alfie’s could be treated and live as it was before insurance. Since health insurance became available it pays for office visits, medical massage, physical therapy, blood tests, etc etc. (Imagine how many sets of wind shield wipers you could buy if the gov’t provided car insurance like it does health insurance) Capitalism was not responsible for this, gov’t was and gov’t involvement in anything typically ruins a good thing.

      In 1965 I had my appendix out, stayed in the hospital for a couple of days and paid for it myself. My doctor bill (surgeon) was $125 and the hospital was $75. A lot of money in those days? Not too bad; very affordable. As health insurance came about things became more and more expensive, after all, the insurance company was paying for it so raise the price a little and a little more and a little more. Now, we have “insurance” that is provided by gov’t and everyone gets “equal” amounts (socialism). But like all socialism, some people are more equal than others. The senators/congressmen exempted themselves from gov’t insurance but required the masses to take it. Do you think the queen and the royals would have forced euthanasia on their children? Could the prime minister have her child flown to the USA for treatment? Make no mistake, Alfie is being killed because of socialism and not capitalism. Britain has said he is getting all he is going to get and they will not allow any citizen of theirs go to another country to get “more” than other citizens (unless one happens to be more equal than others). That is socialism not capitalism.

  • Pray to Christ against this evil.

  • Well lets face it folks the OWO are on a roll and there will be no turning back. And as a Christian who believes in a futurist eschatology, I have no problem with that because it FITS PERFECTLY with end times prophecy! The Antichrist is about to, step on stage, I’m thinking manni macaroni could be the man.

    • Vincent J.

      OK, I’ll bite: Who is “manni macaroni”?

      • Emanuel Macron the would be dictator of the world, and he will get a shot at it… Once the gog magog thing is wrapped up the ten nation coalition of the NEW roman empire will rise rapidly and ol mannie has the right credentials believe it or not.

        • Vincent J.

          Hmmmm ….. I sense the presence of Herbert W. Armstrong.

          OK, I understand what you mean now.

          • Well vince your “sense” is totally screwed up, ol herb and his goofy son were bot misdirected fools and so were all their followers!!! I have been a follower of the BIBLE and a student of prophecy for many years

  • Shears-of-Atropos

    Cutting out all the BS, it boils down to politics, as it was when Jesus was crucified. It is better that one man die than have unrest among the people, which could result in more deaths. That he is innocent is of no importance.

    So, Alfie, you are going to be helped to die, and you are darned well going to die HERE, for the benefit of all concerned. Yes, you too. You and yours can be happy (!) that your death helped keep the people quiet and, you know, after a month or so, they’ll forget all about you. Now shut up and die quietly.

    I guess they told that to the Jews in Auschwitz, too. Didn’t they? Hm, why not? It’s all the same reason ….. some die for the benefit of others. Some people are disposable….

  • buck

    Great article, thank you Mr. Zmirak.

  • Nanita Staley

    This all began when abortion became state-sponsored/promoted, no longer done in back rooms. This for the supposed purpose of protecting the women who inconveniently found themselves pregnant. There is no end to the horrors that evil men and women can imagine and promote then enforce. But God still has a plan. You ain’t seen nothing yet!

    • John Gaunt

      I love the phrase “find themselves pregnant” as if they had no part in the event (speaking of consensual intercourse only). My goodness, how did that happen?

  • X|ZestySea

    Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans were severely brain damaged children with termination illness; Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDS). Their systems are shutting down and they will not survive, much to the distress of their parents. If you’ve had anything to do with a modern medical system, such as the UK, you will know that patients receive the best of care, and many, many times people, who normally would have died without our modern health care, are saved. Just this week, this happened in our household. You are arguing for the rights of the parents, but the court represents the rights of the child. In the case of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans, dragging these very sick children around the world will not change the nature of their terminal illness. There is no underlying conspiracy here, just the tragedy of two dying babies.

    • Susan

      And “dragging sick children around the world” is the prerogative of the parents, NOT the state!

    • X|ZestySea

      So here is additional information:
      1. It was the supreme court – not the State – that represented Alfie.
      2. Experts bought in by the hospital and Alfie’s parents all “agreed the degeneration [in Alfie’s brain was] both catastrophic and untreatable”.
      3. Mr Justice Hayden had to decide whether it was in Alfie’s best interests to be removed from artificial ventilation in the hospital where he had been cared for since he was seven months old.
      4. The high court judge came “reluctantly and sadly to one clear conclusion”: that “Alfie’s need now is for good-quality palliative care”.

Is Your Heart Heavy? God Knew It Would Be
Charles Spurgeon
More from The Stream
Connect with Us