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Alfie Evans
This is outrageous. I thought parents were the decision makers for their kids, not doctors. I guess not so much in increasingly Orwellian England.


https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/951671/alfie-evans-court-updates-news-latest-italy-poland-pope-francis-alder-hey-hospital

  • Pingu
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #1
The doctors didn't make the decision, the court did.

At least get the facts right.
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

  • uncool
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #2
Dave, do you know the basis on which the court made their decision?

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #3
The doctors didn't make the decision, the court did.

At least get the facts right.
Ok whatever.  My point remains.  Why is a court deciding something that parents should be deciding?

Orwellian.

[EDIT]  Also your objection is empty because courts don't decide things on their own ... they get info from "experts" ... in this case, doctors.  So what you really have is "experts" (doctors, then the court) deciding instead of the parents.

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #4
The doctors didn't make the decision, the court did.

At least get the facts right.
Ok whatever.  My point remains.  Why is a court deciding something that parents should be deciding?

Orwellian.
Still haven't read 1984, I see...
While you were getting your PhD in virology, I got my PhD in truth detection. :wave:  Dave Hawkins

  • uncool
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #5
Hey Dave, did you realize that courts make decisions over the will of parents quite often?

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #6
Hey Dave, did you realize that courts make decisions over the will of parents quite often?
CPS is also "Orwellian," presumably.
While you were getting your PhD in virology, I got my PhD in truth detection. :wave:  Dave Hawkins

  • Pingu
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #7
The doctors didn't make the decision, the court did.

At least get the facts right.
Ok whatever.  My point remains.  Why is a court deciding something that parents should be deciding?

That's a very different question.  Courts do this frequently, when parents make decisions that are damaging to kids.  You can argue that they shouldn't, or that they do it on insufficient grounds, but that's a lot different than saying that "doctors" make the decision. They don't.  That would be completely illegal and wrong.

And the answer to your question is: courts decide things on behalf of a child when there is evidence that parents' decisions are not in the child's best interest. This happens, for instance, when children are beaten, or malnourished, or treated cruelly.  Sometimes parents do this in what they think is the child's best interest.  But in the UK beating children, for instance, is illegal.


Orwellian.

[EDIT]  Also your objection is empty because courts don't decide things on their own ... they get info from "experts" ... in this case, doctors.  So what you really have is "experts" (doctors, then the court) deciding instead of the parents.

Well, no. Doctors advise - they cannot decide.  It is completely illegal for a doctor to take medical action without consent.  In the case of a child, that is normally the consent of the parent.  In rare cases, the child is made a "ward of court" if there is reason to think the parents' decision is endangering the child, in which case the court has to consent.  In most cases this happens when parents refuse consent for life-saving treatment, as in the case of JH's and blood transfusions.  In very rare cases it's when parents insist on invasive treatment that the doctors consider unethical and not in the best interests of the child.

That was the argument in this case.  We can argue whether it was the right decision, but I would certainly stand up for the right of the courts to make such a decision in some cases.  Parents don't own their children.  Children have rights as citizens under the law of the land.
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #8
Why did a court even get involved at all?  When I was raising my kids *I* and *my wife* made the decisions regarding their treatment.

  • uncool
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #9
Why did a court even get involved at all?  When I was raising my kids *I* and *my wife* made the decisions regarding their treatment.
Dave, again: you do realize that courts do make decisions about minors that go against the will of parents quite often, right?

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #10
My point remains.  Why is a court deciding something that parents should be deciding?

Quote from: WaPo
If they misbehaved, the 13 siblings living in a Southern California home would be tied to their beds as punishment -- first with ropes, until a child whose limbs were strung together was able to wriggle free. Then, the parents began using chains and padlocks, officials said.

A case of parents deciding. Is that always a good thing, Dave?

  • Pingu
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #11
Courts, by the way, do not always decide in the same way as the doctors advise. Yes, they take that advice, just as parents should, but it is NOT a rubber stamp.  Their over-riding brief is what is in the best interests of the child.  In some cases, they conclude that invasive and futile treatment is NOT in the best interest of the child.  In this case there was no chance of recovery of brain function (the white matter of his brain i.e. the axon part of the neurons that connect each neuron with others, was gone, so no capacity for any brain connectivity), but there remained small chance that he might retain some capacity to suffer. 
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #12
Why did a court even get involved at all?  When I was raising my kids *I* and *my wife* made the decisions regarding their treatment.
Again ... THIS is my question.  ^^^^ in bold.

  • RAFH
  • Have a life, already.
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #13
Hey Dave, did you realize that courts make decisions over the will of parents quite often?
CPS is also "Orwellian," presumably.
Any form of law is "Orwellian".
Are we there yet?

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #14
Courts, by the way, do not always decide in the same way as the doctors advise. Yes, they take that advice, just as parents should, but it is NOT a rubber stamp.  Their over-riding brief is what is in the best interests of the child.  In some cases, they conclude that invasive and futile treatment is NOT in the best interest of the child.  In this case there was no chance of recovery of brain function (the white matter of his brain i.e. the axon part of the neurons that connect each neuron with others, was gone, so no capacity for any brain connectivity), but there remained small chance that he might retain some capacity to suffer. 
Ugh.  Reading a little more on the case...  Feel awful for the parents...   But what purpose does it serve to keep a brain dead little boy on life support indefinitely?   Would it be for *his* benefit? 
While you were getting your PhD in virology, I got my PhD in truth detection. :wave:  Dave Hawkins

  • uncool
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #15
Why did a court even get involved at all?  When I was raising my kids *I* and *my wife* made the decisions regarding their treatment.
Again ... THIS is my question.  ^^^^ in bold.
And people have answered: courts get involved and can overrule the decisions of parents in some cases. The analysis will need to be more careful than this.

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #16
Courts, by the way, do not always decide in the same way as the doctors advise. Yes, they take that advice, just as parents should, but it is NOT a rubber stamp.  Their over-riding brief is what is in the best interests of the child.  In some cases, they conclude that invasive and futile treatment is NOT in the best interest of the child.  In this case there was no chance of recovery of brain function (the white matter of his brain i.e. the axon part of the neurons that connect each neuron with others, was gone, so no capacity for any brain connectivity), but there remained small chance that he might retain some capacity to suffer. 
Ugh.  Reading a little more on the case...  Feel awful for the parents...  But what purpose does it serve to keep a brain dead little boy on life support indefinitely?  Would it be for *his* benefit? 
That's for the parents to decide.  Not the courts.  Also, how do we know he would have been brain dead forever?  Why did Italy and Poland get involved?  Do they know something?  Do they know of cases like Alfie's where the patient recovered fully?  Why were the parents not allowed to take him to Italy and try?

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #17
"The analysis will need to be more careful than this."

Yeah.

I predict that this case will be analyzed in great detail.  This is a big deal.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #18
Why did a court even get involved at all?  When I was raising my kids *I* and *my wife* made the decisions regarding their treatment.
Again ... THIS is my question.  ^^^^ in bold.

The hospital sought to prevent the child from more suffering.

Quote
The High Court ruled in favour of the hospital on 20 February 2018. In their judgement, the High Court stated that an MRI scan taken in February 2018 revealed that "[Alfie's] brain [was] entirely beyond recovery" and that "the brain was now only able to generate seizure" with "progressive destruction of the white matter of the brain which Dr R interpreted as now appearing almost identical to water and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfie_Evans_case

  • uncool
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #19
You do realize that the analysis that I was saying was overly simplistic was yours, right?

You do realize that you're quote-mining again?

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #20
Dave's reasoning reminds me of this lawyer:

* Lawyer: "Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?"

* Witness: "No."

* Lawyer: "Did you check for blood pressure?"

* Witness: "No."

* Lawyer: "Did you check for breathing?"

* Witness: "No."

* Lawyer: "So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?"

* Witness: "No."

* Lawyer: "How can you be so sure, Doctor?"

* Witness: "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar."

* Lawyer: "But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?"

* Witness: "Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere."

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #21
Courts, by the way, do not always decide in the same way as the doctors advise. Yes, they take that advice, just as parents should, but it is NOT a rubber stamp.  Their over-riding brief is what is in the best interests of the child.  In some cases, they conclude that invasive and futile treatment is NOT in the best interest of the child.  In this case there was no chance of recovery of brain function (the white matter of his brain i.e. the axon part of the neurons that connect each neuron with others, was gone, so no capacity for any brain connectivity), but there remained small chance that he might retain some capacity to suffer. 
Ugh.  Reading a little more on the case...  Feel awful for the parents...  But what purpose does it serve to keep a brain dead little boy on life support indefinitely?  Would it be for *his* benefit? 
That's for the parents to decide.  Not the courts.  Also, how do we know he would have been brain dead forever?  Why did Italy and Poland get involved?  Do they know something?  Do they know of cases like Alfie's where the patient recovered fully?  Why were the parents not allowed to take him to Italy and try?

If parents do things not in the best interests of a child, no, they don't always get to make decisions. The child also has rights.

When physical parts of the brain have literally atrophied and been replaced with cerebrospinal fluid, those parts are not going to 'grow back'.

Italy and Poland got involved because the Pope got involved, and they are deeply Catholic countries.

I don't think you understand end of life care, Dave. Do you know what palliative care means?

  • RAFH
  • Have a life, already.
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #22
Why did a court even get involved at all?  When I was raising my kids *I* and *my wife* made the decisions regarding their treatment.
Again ... THIS is my question.  ^^^^ in bold.
Did you read the background on the case?
I mean, really read it, not just Hawkinz it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfie_Evans_case

Alfie Evans had serious medical conditions that were rapidly deteriorating. Even the doctors in Rome admitted there was little they could do besides change his breathing and eating set ups and, importantly, that transport to Rome could cause Alfie further harm. Yes, it's sad. But there really wasn't anything anybody could do, except maybe your god. Yeah, right. Your god could have intervened all along, indeed, prevented the situation from even developing. But the bastid didn't. Just sat there on his cloudy throne and watched. Hey, it was your god's will. Otherwise, given your god is omniscient and omnipotent and omnipresent, it would not have happened. Right?

Usually parents do have control, but sometimes they aren't doing what is best for the child and as Pingu rightly pointed out, children are people too and have human rights and those can and often do supercede any parental rights.
Are we there yet?

  • Pingu
Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #23
Courts, by the way, do not always decide in the same way as the doctors advise. Yes, they take that advice, just as parents should, but it is NOT a rubber stamp.  Their over-riding brief is what is in the best interests of the child.  In some cases, they conclude that invasive and futile treatment is NOT in the best interest of the child.  In this case there was no chance of recovery of brain function (the white matter of his brain i.e. the axon part of the neurons that connect each neuron with others, was gone, so no capacity for any brain connectivity), but there remained small chance that he might retain some capacity to suffer. 
Ugh.  Reading a little more on the case...  Feel awful for the parents...  But what purpose does it serve to keep a brain dead little boy on life support indefinitely?  Would it be for *his* benefit? 
That's for the parents to decide.  Not the courts.

Well, I appreciate that that is your view.  I disagree.  If parents are causing a child to suffer needlessly, however good their intentions (e.g. parents who have their children brutally "excorcised") then I want the courts to be able to intervene and protect the child from his/her parents, under the law of the land.
Also, how do we know he would have been brain dead forever? 

Because his white matter was gone.  That's what "brain dead" means - it means that the damage is irreversible and that the brain is incapable of supporting thought.

Why did Italy and Poland get involved? 

Because of the catholic church.

Do they know something?  Do they know of cases like Alfie's where the patient recovered fully?  Why were the parents not allowed to take him to Italy and try?

Because the courts considered that a) treatment would be futile and b) would only cause further suffering.

Most of the child's head consisted of cerebrospinal fluid, not brain tissue, and what little tissue there was, was unconnected to most other parts of the brain. All it could generate was seizures. There was no other EEG signal in his brain.  People can recover from partial brain damage not because the damaged part recovers (it doesn't, it just turns to water, essentially) but because the undamaged part can reorganise itself to take over.  But when the entire wiring system is gone, there's nothing to rewire.
  • Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 05:42:56 AM by Pingu
I have a Darwin-debased mind.

Re: Alfie Evans
Reply #24
Courts, by the way, do not always decide in the same way as the doctors advise. Yes, they take that advice, just as parents should, but it is NOT a rubber stamp.  Their over-riding brief is what is in the best interests of the child.  In some cases, they conclude that invasive and futile treatment is NOT in the best interest of the child.  In this case there was no chance of recovery of brain function (the white matter of his brain i.e. the axon part of the neurons that connect each neuron with others, was gone, so no capacity for any brain connectivity), but there remained small chance that he might retain some capacity to suffer. 
Ugh.  Reading a little more on the case...  Feel awful for the parents...  But what purpose does it serve to keep a brain dead little boy on life support indefinitely?  Would it be for *his* benefit? 
That's for the parents to decide.  Not the courts.  Also, how do we know he would have been brain dead forever?
Do brains normally regenerate in humans?
Quote
Why did Italy and Poland get involved?  Do they know something? 
Yes, why would a heavily Catholic country not want life support to be turned off ::)
Quote
Do they know of cases like Alfie's where the patient recovered fully? 
No.
Quote
Why were the parents not allowed to take him to Italy and try?
You can read the rationale in the news coverage.  




  • Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 05:53:49 AM by entropy
While you were getting your PhD in virology, I got my PhD in truth detection. :wave:  Dave Hawkins