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The Alfie Challenge

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The Alfie Challenge

Old 26th Apr 2018, 18:15
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The Alfie Challenge

For all the folks on the other side of the pond who regularly post about how "sick" American culture and society is because we view gun ownership as a civil right, please explain how the UK government's, UK medical system's, and UK court's treatment of Alfie Evans is indicative of a much more "civilized", and "enlightened" society. Give us your best shot.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 18:56
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If you look at the whole desperately sad situation dispassionately, it seems as though the poor little lad hasn’t got any quality of life so it would be kinder just to let him go.

However, as a parent, if Alfie was my child, I would cling to absolutely any hope, no matter how small. Despite what the doctors said, switching off his life support hasn’t yet been the final stage and just sometimes, the medics are wrong. What puzzles me particularly though is, even if the NHS do not wish to offer any further treatment, why are his parents forbidden to take him to Italy? Surely, unless I’m missing something or misunderstood, that is their right?

This case reminds me of a similar one two years ago with a UK child suffering from an inoperable brain cancer. His parents, against the court and hospital wishes, removed him from medical care and went overseas to try an alternative treatment. If I understand it, this child has been reported as if not cured, certainly in remission.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 18:56
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Don't know Alfie.
It's not about gun ownership as a civil right.
It's about those who should not have that right and the pure ease they have getting them regardless. "Those who should not" - that should be self-explanatory.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 19:09
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Exactly the same Anglo-Saxon common law system which, in the USA, allows the courts to overrule the rights of the parent in the best interest a child - as recommended by the attending physicians - as, for example, in the case of a child needing a blood transfusion whose parents are Jehovah Witnesses.....
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 19:10
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Originally Posted by BehindBlueEyes View Post
why are his parents forbidden to take him to Italy?
Because the last time that happened the child recovered and proved the NHS experts wrong. The 'proton therapy' case, I think it was?
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 19:28
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Originally Posted by Lascaille View Post
Because the last time that happened the child recovered and proved the NHS experts wrong. The 'proton therapy' case, I think it was?
I rather think that the case you quote was a completely different scenario. That child had a brain tumour which was possibly treatable, which has proven to be so fortunately for all concerned. And long may it last.
The unfortunate Alfie is in situation which all the doctors everywhere (as I understand it) agree is untreatable. The only difference is that a hospital in Italy has offered to prolong the use of life support systems which is keeping the boy alive. There is agreement that there is zero chance of recovery.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 19:31
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Assuming that Alfie is transported to Italy, who will pay the medical fees?
Will the E111 work?
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 19:44
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In all such cases, on both sides of the Atlantic, the court is left to decide in the best interest of the child. And every single case is different - and no general rule can apply. For every case you might cite where the clinical judgement was wrong there will be thousands where the clinical judgement was right.

It is is bad enough when the parents are being exploited by a fundamentalist Christian organisation to push their agenda. Far, far, worse is an attempt from someone I feel deep disgust for to exploit the case for purely political gain on an unimportant website concerning gun control.

Do you have no sense of self respect whatsoever?
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 20:39
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I think Americans get confused on this subject - they can't understand why the child is allowed to die before the parents have used up all of their money.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 21:06
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Sentimentality will always win over medical facts. If given an enormous amount of expensive treatment (who's paying?) the lad may continue to live but with what quality of life? The whole sorry saga is turning into a circus.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 21:23
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....please explain how the UK government's, UK medical system's, and UK court's treatment of Alfie Evans is indicative of a much more "civilized", and "enlightened" society.
How about the fact the treatment the little lad has had and is having is entirely funded by taxpayers. Unlike the American system it hasn't bankrupted the parents.

Unfortunately emotion overules common sense in cases like this. From what I have read the little lad has virtually zero brain function and never will have. I feel desparately sad for the parents but what are they actually trying to achieve?
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 21:27
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I had no opinion on this, on one side the parents love and the other the almost certain medical facts. But the royals/politicians wouldn't have this problem if it was their child. That's what gets me seething.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 21:40
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Originally Posted by FakePilot View Post
. . . the royals/politicians wouldn't have this problem if it was their child. . .
now that is fake news. The previous Prime Minister lost his son which disproves party of your assertion. A Royal was previously kept locked up . . .

Certainly the Royals get the best private treatment but not to the point of miracles.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 22:08
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I think itís highly unlikely in this case that there has been a misdiagnosis or sadly any chance of a miracle. No doubt Alphie has had brain scans and been wired for any cerebral activity. If, as reported, this is a degenerative condition, thereís even less likelihood of a recovery. The very rare miraculous recoveries you occasionally get to hear of are usually following an injury where the body has had be able to repair itself over a period of time. This case seems to be an unknown progressive affliction that is destroying the brain from within.

It should be a very private and valued time for the parents. I donít know whose idea it was to bring the media in and to hear that some misguided individuals and zealots are intimidating other parents, patients and staff at the hospital is beyond belief. Some of those families on the receiving end may be going through their own distressing issues and do not need the stress of running the gauntlet of a braying mob.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 23:34
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Although I wouldn't normally post a Guardian link, the author of this article presents the case for letting the poor little boy fade away far more eloquently than I could and certainly from a position of far greater knowledge.

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...e-with-dignity
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 23:46
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I'm not sure how old Alfie's mother is but his father is only 23 and these young parents are in this awful position with no possible good result in sight. I think what has happened to them, being taken over by some pretty awful people with their own agenda to push is just terrible. Seems like they are now coming around to some sort of acceptance of the hopeless situation and yesterday thanked hospital staff for help they are receiving in getting Alfie home to die with some sort of dignity. This is in stark contrast to some of the vile things that have been posted on social media about the medical staff,who only ever wanted to do what was best for the child.
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Old 26th Apr 2018, 23:49
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Originally Posted by BehindBlueEyes View Post

This case reminds me of a similar one two years ago with a UK child suffering from an inoperable brain cancer. His parents, against the court and hospital wishes, removed him from medical care and went overseas to try an alternative treatment. If I understand it, this child has been reported as if not cured, certainly in remission.
Donít mean to be the one to break this to you but Ashya King was absolutely not suffering from an inoperable brain tumour- he had been operated on and the tumour removed. The point of disagreement was which form of radiotherapy to use to prevent a recurrence.

the nhs is happy to pay for proton therapy (patients usually treated either in the US or Switzerland until the UK proton therapy centre comes online), however there was (and still is) no good evidence that proton therapy is effective as a prevention for recurrence/metastasis of medulloblastoma (n=1 does not equal proof)

I agree it wasnít handled desperately well by either side and I feel there was a degree of miscommunication leading to the parents feeling they had no option but to abscond from the hospital with child but...

that being a totally different case to either Alfie or Charlie Gard. The court of protection in these situations is not appointed to allow the doctors/parents to do anything in particular. A public guardian is appointed to advocate for the child (or other person not able to speak for themselves) so that decisions can be made in the best interests of the patient- not the doctors, not the nhs, not the parents.

this is (in my opinion) a fantastic system that prevents someone unable to speak for themselves either being subjected to potentially painful and undignified treatment that has minimal chance of working in any meaningful sense of the word; it also prevents doctors withdrawing treatment prematurely

the charlotte Wyatt case is so often forgotten about in these debates- that was a prime case where the decision was made against the hospital withdrawing life support. Charlotte is, I believe, still alive, although I also believe her parents split up and she is now cared for by a foster family?
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 00:22
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The NHS is always pleading poverty yet is quite willing to spend money on lawyers at the High Court and to have this kid bed-blocking an intensive care unit. If the family want to take him to Italy and the Italians are willing to treat the lad why on earth is the NHS trying to prevent them.
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 04:15
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Originally Posted by KenV View Post
For all the folks on the other side of the pond who regularly post about how "sick" American culture and society is because we view gun ownership as a civil right, please explain how the UK government's, UK medical system's, and UK court's treatment of Alfie Evans is indicative of a much more "civilized", and "enlightened" society. Give us your best shot.
This article should offer you an insight as to how matters have developed.

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ents-activists

See if you can spot the mention of the basis of your query.
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 06:21
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Originally Posted by Highway1 View Post
The NHS is always pleading poverty yet is quite willing to spend money on lawyers at the High Court and to have this kid bed-blocking an intensive care unit. If the family want to take him to Italy and the Italians are willing to treat the lad why on earth is the NHS trying to prevent them.
1) the NHS legal budget is a ringfenced fund which should probably be thought of more as insurance than actual free money per se

2) the whole point is that taking the child to Italy for ongoing ventilation etc with no hope of a cure, is not in his best interests. So decides an independent judiciary which is tasked to advocate for Alfie. That is the point.

This has got absolutely zero to do with what his parents want, or what his doctors want
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