The Obscenity of the Culture of Death on Display

If anyone wonders where the Culture of Death leads, it is there before our eyes — the government of the UK is planning on starving a toddler to death against his parents’ fervent wishes, for no other reason than that he has a disability. The government and the courts have prevented his parents from moving the child to another hospital, and have decided that he is better off dead.

The story is about little Alfie Evans, who will be two years old on May 9 — if he survives. Not long after he was born, he started showing symptoms of a neurological disorder and had to be hospitalized. The condition still hasn’t been diagnosed, but it has progressed and left Alfie in a coma. His parents have been with him the whole way and have not given up hope for him.

In December, the hospital decided to go to court to terminate the parents’ rights to determine Alfie’s health care. The reason was that the hospital considered Alfie’s case to be hopeless and that he would be better off dead. The legal battle over Alfie’s life has engulfed the UK and Europe. Court after court refused to grant his parents the right to continue his treatment or to take him elsewhere.

Others have stepped up to offer help to Alfie. The Holy Father has pleaded for him. The Vatican-related Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital in Rome has offered to take him, and another hospital in Munich has done the same. Italy granted Alfie citizenship in hopes that this would convince the UK courts to release him to be transported to the Bambino Gesu.

The courts have remained adamant that Alfie must die.

On Monday evening the hospital took Alfie off life support. To their surprise, he didn’t die, but breathed on his own. Undaunted, the hospital withheld food and water from him for a day. Try to wrap your brain around that. The hospital tried to murder Alfie by starving him to death. Fortunately, they renewed life support and feeding when a new round of court appeals began.

Awaiting the final ruling of the court, the Holy Father arranged for a military helicopter ambulance to transport Alfie. But again, the courts were unmoved. The latest judge ruled that dying was in Alfie’s best interests and that he could not be taken from the country.

It’s difficult to even think about this case without crying and becoming enraged. I’m a parent and I can’t even imagine the pain Alfie’s parents are going through. I’m a lawyer and I can’t comprehend the mind of a lawyer and judge who can be so heartless in his rulings.

This is the product of a culture where every life is not valued for its own worth, regardless of function, capability, and usefulness. This is the product of a “throwaway culture”, as Pope Francis calls it, where the answer seems to be to discard troublesome life. This is the product of a huge structure of sin created by and fed by abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia, violence, indiscriminate war. This is the product of a society with a very, very deep spiritual sickness.

Alfie is a victim of the Culture of Death at its most obscene.

Tomorrow, April 26, we will be having a Mass and prayer vigil for Alfie. We will start at Holy Family Church on East 47th Street with noontime Mass, and we will walk up the block to the UK Mission to the UN on 2nd Avenue between 47th and 46th Streets, where we will pray. Please join us in prayer if you can’t join us in person.

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