This article was originally published by Ron Paul at Ron Paul Institute
Twenty-three-month-old Alfie Evans, passed away in a British hospital on Saturday. While the official cause of death was a degenerative brain disease, Alfie may have been murdered by the British health system and the British high court. Doctors at the hospital treating Alfie decided to remove his life support, against the wishes of Alfie’s parents. The high court not only upheld the doctors’ authority to override the parents’ wishes, it refused to allow the parents to take Alfie abroad for treatment.
In upholding the government’s authority to substitute its judgment for that of Alfie’s parents, the high court is following in the footsteps of authoritarians throughout history. Ever since Plato, supporters of big government have sought to put government in charge of raising children. The authoritarianism of a system where “experts” can override parents is underscored by a police warning that they were “monitoring” social media posts regarding Alfie.
Alfie’s case is not just an example of the dangers of allowing government to usurp parental authority or the failures of socialized medicine. It shows the logical result of the widespread acceptance of the idea that rights are mere privileges bestowed by government. It follows from this idea that rights can be taken away whenever demanded by government officials or the popular will.
Of course, most western politicians deny they believe rights come from government. They instead claim that government must place “reasonable” limits on rights to advance important policy goals, such as limiting the right to free speech to protect certain groups from hate speech, or limiting property rights to promote economic equality. But, a right by its very nature cannot be limited or abolished and still be a right.
This disdain for a true understanding of rights is found among both liberals and conservatives. Both support a welfare-warfare state funded via the theft of income taxes and the indirect theft of inflation. Both support jailing people for nonviolent actions like drinking raw milk. Many politicians, regardless of ideology, support restrictions on parental rights such as mandatory vaccination laws.
While claiming to support the right to life, most modern liberals not only support legalized abortion, they want to force pro-lifers to fund abortion providers. Both the right-wing neocons and left-wing humanitarian interventionists dismiss the innocents killed in US military actions as inconsequential “collateral damage.”
America’s Founding Fathers rejected the idea that rights come from government. They instead embraced the view that rights are either granted by the creator or are a basic attribute of humanity.
Since rights do not come from government, government has no more legitimate authority to violate our rights than does a private individual. Thus, if an individual cannot use force to make you help others, neither can the government. If an individual cannot use force to stop you from gambling online or telling un-PC jokes, neither can the government. If an individual cannot use force to stop parents from seeking medical treatment for their child, neither can the government.
Widespread acceptance of natural rights and the principle of nonaggression that flows from natural rights is key to obtaining and maintaining a free society. Thus, educating people in the benefits of free markets, individual liberty, and a foreign policy of peace and free trade is key to protecting future Alfie Evanses, and other victims of the welfare-warfare state, as well as to restoring respect for the moral principles of liberty among a critical mass of the people.
Little Alphie so that Prince Louis could live.
They steal, kidnap, and murder. Paul says you have the natural right to educate perps, about the broader, social issues.
Another child pays the price for governmental interference.
Once more a knee jerk reaction from someone seeking to further his own political agenda. Ron Paul (like most political publicity seekers) appeals to the innate emotional response that most humans, who have no understanding of the background of this tragic child’s condition, will automatically have.
Please, Mr Paul, acquaint yourself with all of the facts rather than going for the cheap and easy shot aimed at another country’s laws (it was Alfie’s medical team who first made the decision to withdraw treatment, not the British government).
I would suggest that instead of criticizing a country he clearly knows very little of, Mr Paul should address America’s own medical and moral concerns first. Which medical facility in America would have paid for an American Alfie’s care in perpetuity? Name me one.
Dr. Paul. Ron Paul is a physician.
Is “Doctor” Rand really a physician? There seems to be some doubts about his qualifications:
Essentially Rand is, and will always be, a failed politician.
Sorry, posted the wrong guy up! Here is Ron Paul’s bio on Wikipedia which states he is an author/politician/physician.
Although having been a successful Doctor, Politics was and always has been his main interest in life.
“Paul … completed … his residency in OBSTETRICS and GYNECOLOGY at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Paul served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and then in the United States Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. Paul and his wife then relocated to Texas, where he began a private practice in OBSTETRICS and GYNECOLOGY.”
Ron Paul’s Campaign Manager Died Sick and Uninsured. So what is Ron Paul is a doctor. He did not help this man who raised millions for him to send a message and not actually run for president. Do you think Ron Paul would give a dime to save Alfie when he left his campaign manager twisting in the wind? The man died with 400,000 in medical expenses.
Ron Paul also said No One Has a Right to Health Care. Never once addressing the FACT that an uninsured person has to pay chargemaster markups for health care that makes health care unaffordable. No one thinks that health care should be free but it should be regulated so whether you are insured or uninsured the price for services is the same. The only difference is if you have insurance they pay the bulk and if you don’t you pay it all.
Perhaps Ron Paul should have said no one has a right to heath insurance but they do have the right not to be gouged by the medical profession.
In any society where the Government pays the total cost of healthcare, the natural conclusion is that at some future time the Government will decide when life-support will be stopped. This might mean that it won’t even be started. A very significant portion of the total spent over a person’s lifetime on medical care is spent in the last six months of life. The decision to shut off life support will shift from the family to the Government.
Do you think a 80 year old with dementia should be given numerous treatments to prolong their life?
Or what about a person who is brain dead but is being kept alive by artificial means?
How much do we fear death that we cannot let people die with dignity?
Britan has a NATIONAL healthcare system. The team of doctors are GOVERNMENT workers. They made the decision to withdraw feeding and giving water tubes to Alfie. The parents were prohibited from doing anything to help THEIR son. Britain has blood on its hands.
Yes, Britain has a national health service but it isn’t free. Everyone pays into it from various taxes. Pay as you earn, national insurance, tax on goods/services et al.
America has a form of socialism inherent in its system. How are your police funded? How is your postal service funded? Or your teachers and schools. I don’t hear any cries of evil socialism when your much vaunted socialist military is quoted, yet that’s funded by taxes in a similar way to the British NHS.
British Doctors are not political pawns and have a robust voice in the BMC (British Medical Council) who maintain a healthy distance from politicians (https://www.gmc-uk.org/)
As yet, no one has answered my question. “Which American medical facility would care for an American Alfie in perpetuity?”. All I hear is a deafening silence or misinformed opinions based on a seeming hatred of a system that they cannot be bothered to understand or are too lazy to investigate in depth.
Was it morally right to shut off a little boy’s life support? I don’t know the full story or facts so don’t dare venture an opinion. The facts are always blurred in cases like this.
Is it morally right to wage war against families and children while ensconced in a secure site thousands of miles away? Is it morally right to take on the role of the world’s enforcer on behalf of multi national business? I would emphatically say NO!
lots and lots of it .we pay national insurance every week and we get fxxed over too many foreiners in a&e that think rain is a desease
Brian,Italy extended Alfie citizenship so he could receive the treatment there. Again,Britain forbade the family to move him.
The parents should have bought health insurance.
This case concerns a baby with parents and a possibility of living. It is monstrous. End-of-life decisions for elderly people and terminally ill people don’t evoke the same emotional reactions(except from the people involved). The tide of the history is moving in the direction of terminating life. The growing hostility of the younger generations for older people and the high cost of hospice care are powerful forces.
Ron Paul’s campaign manager died uninsured despite raising millions for his presidency. Where was Ron Paul for this man?
Ron Paul believes health care is not a right and people who were previously uninsurable should just go suck eggs. His statement regarding this case is pathetic because this terminally ill child would have been uninsured in the USA and would have been dead sooner here than in the UK.
Get the facts on what this child was going through before you talk about how it was an evil act. It is more evil and selfish to keep someone alive who has no chance of living a life.