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Law Professor: Alfie Evans Demonstrates ‘Limits’ to Human Dignity in ‘Universal State Health Care’

Michael Morris
By Michael Morris | April 27, 2018 | 4:43 PM EDT

Professor Lynne Marie Kohm (left) and Alfie Evans (right) (Screenshots)

In an interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network News on Wednesday, Regent University School of Law Family Law Professor Lynne Marie Kohm described the legal authority at play in the United Kingdom’s decision to not provide continuing care for little Alfie Evans, noting that Charlie Gard’s and Alfie Evans’ cases demonstrate the “limits” to human dignity in “universal state health care.”

“They [governments] recognize the dignity of the individual, but there’s limits to that,” stated Professor Lynne Marie Kohm of Regent University School of Law. “And remember, this is state health care, universal state health care, which has its limits. So, when the state is in charge, it’s going to decide who gets to continue to live when the resources are limited. They’re not infinite. And what they’re looking at is a little baby that they think can’t be treated.”

Lynne Marie Kohm’s remarks came after the UK Supreme Court determined that “doctors at Alder Hey Hosptial in Liverpool could take Alfie Evans, who has a degenerative brain disease, off of life support,” reported CNSNews.com. “‘The hospital must be free to do what has been determined to be in Alfie’s best interests,’ the court said. ‘Alfie looks like a normal baby, but the unanimous opinion of the doctors who have examined him and the scans of his brain is that almost all of his brain has been destroyed.’”

 

Below is a transcript of Professor Kohm’s remarks from her CBN News interview Wednesday:

CBN News Reporter: “Well, do Alfie parents, Kate and Tom, do they have any legal recourse?”

Family Law Professor Lynne Marie Kohm: “I don’t think they do, not under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The state member is going to be the one that’s in charge here, and that’s what they’re doing. They’re being in charge of Charlie Gard, [sic] Alfie’s life here, thinking that it’s in his best interest that he die.

“There is no— The United States has said very clearly something very different. There is no right to die, and we see that life is protected and sacred. That’s not inherent in the European conventions. Those things are more about state members protecting its citizens, very different.

“This thing that Charlie Gard’s parents had, Alfie’ parents, they want to do everything they can to protect their son. Why is that? Because God put it in their hearts. Very similar to Solomon. Wise decision? 1 Kings 3, the woman that said, ‘It’s my son.’ And the other woman said, ‘No, it’s my son.’ And the king says, ‘Bring me a sword. I’ll cut him in two.’ And which woman said, ‘No, let her have him’? That was the mother who was the true mother of the child. She said, ‘Let her have him. Don’t kill him.’ The other mother said, ‘Kill him. Neither of us will have him.’ God has put it in parents’ hearts to protect their kids, but when states step in to stop that, that makes it really impossible for the child to move forward. And that’s what’s happening with poor little Alfie.”

 

Reporter: “Well, what’s going on in the UK? I mean, it just seems so inhumane. Don’t the governments recognize the role, the dignity of the individual?”

Professor Kohm: “They recognize the dignity of the individual, but there’s limits to that. And remember, this is state health care, universal state health care, which has its limits. So, when the state is in charge, it’s going to decide who gets to continue to live when the resources are limited. They’re not infinite. And what they’re looking at is a little baby that they think can’t be treated.

“You or I know, and the Italian government, the Vatican knows, we want to do everything we can to treat this child because we see life as so much more sacred than the cost it might bring to the people bearing the burden of that cost. When you have state health care, you don’t have those choices. You don’t have those choices, and parents don’t have those choices to protect their kids – very sad.

“This would not happen in the United States because a court in the United States is charged with allowing the parent to direct the upbringing of their children, and those parents are going to, are bound by law to do what’s best, in the best interest of those children.

“Those rules don’t exist over in the UK or in any of the 192 nations who’ve signed the CRC. This is the reason why the United States will never sign the CRC.”


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