[These are my views as a woman living in England, on how the culture and spirit of my country has changed over 50 years. Why the country does not feel protected or strong any more, how it has lost, and is losing it values and decency, and how we are daily losing our free speech.]
Prince William and Katherine Middleton announced the name of their third child quite recently. It is Louis Arthur Charles, and he will be known as His Royal Highness, Prince Louis of Cambridge.
I noted that the actual birth of Prince Louis had been somewhat low-key, in comparison to previous royal births. It was a whole week before I knew he had been born. I believe the reason for this was that public world attention was being given to the plight of two year old Alfie Evans, who died under controversial circumstances in Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool very recently.
Public celebrations for the royal birth also seemed very minimal, and whilst we have delighted in viewing the beautiful photographs of the royal baby meeting his siblings, you could not help or fail to compare the images of privilege and happiness, against the many images of little Alfie, who at the same time, in his own vulnerability, appeared to many people to be in the hands of another authority who did not have his, or his parents, best interests at heart.
The controversy around a court decision to switch of vital life support and refuse his parents permission to seek further alternative help which was being offered to them raised a great amount of frustration for many British citizens who questioned the reason for this. What impact would that decision have on all vulnerable patients, who could possibly have a chance of life?
Some people were very vocal about the treatment of Alfie Evans and his parents, and also against Alder Hey Hospital. There were accusations directed at the demonstrators being insulting to staff and visitors outside of the hospital. Staff staff spoke of genuine fear!
But not everyone was critical about the decisions being made about Alder Hey Hospital and Alfie Evans.
The Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon, was very ‘supportive’ of the decisions made by Alder Hey Hospital, but emphasized they were praying for Alfie’s parents. [Link]
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, showed sympathy towards the case but respected the ‘difficult’ decisions made by clinicians, and it is reported believes that clinicians should decide on a child’s life, and not parents. [Link]
Unfortunately, it appears The Church of England, which belongs to The State of England, and answers to the government have said very little. Her Majesty the Queen is the supreme governor of The Church of England.
Therefore, some people have stayed silently watching. Sympathetic, but silent.
Merseyside Police, who are the police force for the Liverpool area had also issued a statement in relation to criticism against Alder Hey Hospital.
Chief Inspector Chris Gibson said:
“Merseyside Police has been made aware of a number of social media posts which have been made with reference to Alder Hey Hospital and the ongoing situation involving Alfie Evans.
“I would like to make people aware that these posts are being monitored and remind social media users that any offences including malicious communications and threatening behaviour will be investigated and where necessary will be acted upon.”
Somewhere in that silence, where some people have the authority to speak up and make their voices known, and some people are being silenced; and amidst the celebration of new life and a sentence of death for a baby, hangs the truth, staring back at you.
What exactly is going on when parents and children are held in hospitals against their will, and all offers of alternative medical help are rejected? That is the question?
What’s it All About?
The divide between people who used the words of compassion and dignity to excuse the decision made upon Alfie’s life, against those who saw the spirit of arrogance and dictatorship staring right back at them and laying down its law, was tangible. It could not have been more evident. The aftermath of that decision is still hanging in the air. It has left a stale taste and many un-answered questions for those who rely on a National Health Service, and also for some of those who work in the National Health Service.
An establishment which once preserved and fought for human life at all costs, seems to have become infiltrated with a culture of death and decision making which goes against reason. Whilst the public greatly appreciate our medical services, there are also decisions being made which the public and many members of the medical profession are also at odds against. They support the Hippocratic tradition.
Alder Hay Hospital in particular, has already received many bad reviews and has a very dark history which involved organ retention and organ harvesting from children’s bodies without permission from parents. During the period from 1988 – 1995 more than 2,000 pots containing body parts from 850 infants were uncovered.
In 1999, the public had been unaware that Alder Hey and other hospitals were retaining patient’s organs without their consent.
The Alder Hey report (known as Redfern Report) was published in 2001.
Dutch pathologist Dick van Velzen had ordered the illegal stripping of every organ during a post mortem from every child during his time at the hospital.
The report also revealed that Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Alder Hey Hospital gave thymus glands removed from live children during heart surgery to a pharmaceutical company for research in return for donations.
This is the reason why people should not stay silent or be silenced on such important ethical issues in healthcare. [Link]
When Alfie’s life support was removed on the 23rd April, at the final instruction of the High Court, and he breathed on his own, showing signs of recognition and normality, not only did a population cheer for this little human life, but thousands of medical staff did too.
Many staff who wanted to sustain Alfie’s life and give him every conceivable chance was also being over-ruled by senior medical staff and a court system, who it is reported, had refused to consider any appeal by the parents.
It appears they also refused to listen to citizens who pay for the National Health Service, and they also refused to listen to an appeal from Pope Francis in Rome who had granted the child Italian citizenship to be treated in Italy, with absolutely no cost to Britain. On the 23rd April, the day Alder Hay Hospital switched off his life support machine, a military air ambulance fully equipped to take Alfie to Bambino Gesu Hospital was already waiting.
The anguish, knowing about that offer of hope for some chance of life, which must have been experienced by his parents, was felt by thousands.
Alfie died on the 28th April.
Today, Monday 14th May it is his funeral.
We honor his short life. Thank you Alfie for showing us your trust and your vulnerability in this harsh world and from your silent and peaceful world at least alerting us once more to our responsibility in protecting and valuing human life.
“If you want peace, work for justice. If you want justice, defend life. If you want life, embrace the truth the truth revealed by God.”
To be continued……..
© 2018 Shirley Edwards – All Rights Reserved
E-Mail Shirley Edwards: firstname.lastname@example.org