Picture from #ALFIESARMY Twitter page; used with permission.
As the tragedy of Charlie Gard’s death unfolded—that’s the terminally-ill 11-month-old from the United Kingdom whose parents in July were prohibited from transferring him to a U.S. hospital for life-saving treatment, or even from taking him home to die—I remember taking some small comfort from the thought, “This is a rare case. This is something that won’t happen again anytime soon.”
I was sadly and unimaginably wrong about that.
Alfie Evans is an 18-month-old in another United Kingdom hospital—Ader Hey Children’s. As in the case of Charlie Gard, the hospital has given up on Alfie. They can’t sort out what’s wrong with him; he has been in a coma for a year, and they don’t even have a diagnosis.
Alfie moves, shows expression, and exhibits signs of life, based on several videos posted online, including this video posted on Twitter. But doctors have decided it is in his best interest to simply end his life.
Alfie’s parents, Thomas Evans and Kate James, are crushed. And well they should be. After months of efforts, they have finally found a hospital in Italy that wants to take over Alfie’s care and try to find a solution.
Only, Ader Hey’s staff would rather petition the court to declare it in Alfie’s best interest that they turn off his ventilator and end intensive care than see him transferred out of their control. And in the United Kingdom, they have the legal power to do just that.
Fortunately for us, our own legal system is not yet that far gone on the issue of parental rights. But if scholars and teachers like James Dwyer at the William and Mary School of Law get their way, or if doctors like those who “treated” Justina Pelletier at Boston Children’s Hospital get their way, then we won’t be far behind.
The proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution can halt that progression in its tracks. By declaring in the Constitution that “the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right,” the Amendment will serve as a giant “stop sign” to government interference. By enshrining these traditional, natural, God-given rights in the text of the Constitution, we can restrict the government from overriding them just because some doctor or hospital (or law professor, for that matter) thinks they know best.
We will be closely monitoring Alfie’s fate, and we will keep you posted on his parents’ battle to save his life.
Meanwhile, though, Congress is about to recess for the holidays, and many have still not signed on to cosponsor this vital Amendment.
Thursday is scheduled to be their last day in this first session of the 115th Congress. And that means we have only 3 or 4 more days to reach out and urge them to cosponsor the Parental Rights Amendment—H.J. Res. 121 in the House, and S.J. Res. 48 in the Senate—before the long holiday break.
Fortunately, we have added 4 new cosponsors since the introduction of H.J. Res. 121 only three weeks ago, and that means our calls are working.
***Take Action ***
- Call: Please take a moment right now to call your congressman and your two senators and urge them to sign on. Let them know you don’t want hospitals and courts making medical decisions for your child like Alfie Evans’s parents are experiencing in the U.K. today. Tell them it is time to shut and lock the door on any chance of that kind of nightmare coming to America.
- Give: Please remember the children by including ParentalRights.org when you plan your end-of-year giving this year. Every dollar you give will help us empower the parents to save children just like these.
By standing together to pass the Parental Rights Amendment, we can demonstrate to the world that loving parents, not government courts, are best suited to know what is in the best interests of their child. Thank you for standing with us!
Director of Communications & Research