Alfie Evans: So Much For ‘your Body, Your Choice’

The death of Alfie Evans, forced off life support by doctors, bioethicists, and judges – strangers – and denied the right to have his care decisions made by his parents, brings health care to a crossroads.

For years we have been told that end-of-life decisions are the most intimate of all, and that as autonomous persons, we – or if incompetent, our families – must be free to decide when to refuse life support, to which I say, amen.

Some, take the meme even farther, insisting that autonomy is so fundamental, patients ought to be able to direct doctors to provide a lethal prescription or jab if they wish termination to avoid suffering caused by illness, disability, or debilitation.

But, now we are told that when life is wanted, when a patient or family wish to fight for every breath, or parents decide to give their children every chance to make it through a terrible health crisis, no matter how unlikely – well, autonomy has its limits, don't you know. "Best interests," and all that.

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