The Alfie Evans outrage occurred in an NHS hospital with a long record of clinical negligence, including the worst scandal in the history of Britain’s National Health Service. Most of the media have covered Alfie’s case, with characteristic dishonesty, as a tragedy that began before the boy was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. But, according to the court testimony of the NHS physicians who admitted Alfie, his initial diagnosis involved a fairly common condition: “viral bronchiolitis and a possible prolonged febrile convulsion.” The still-undiagnosed brain disease that allegedly killed Alfie didn’t appear until after he entered this dangerous hospital.

The hospital has had many violations of law and regulations including illegal organ harvesting, multiple safety violations, and a high rate of hospital acquired infections (HAIs).  It seems likely that this last failure led to Alfie Evans’ death.  You can read full details here: https://spectator.org/alfie-evans-is-just-the-latest-victim-of-a-deadly-nhs-hospital/.

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hospitalhall

When debating socialized medicine (and other government monopolized services), we often argue ad nauseum about models, theories and statistics.  Cost estimates are made and actuarial tables quoted. We make moral judgments about the motivations of our opponents.  We also forget that real people are affected in real ways by our decisions.  Two cases in point are Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard of the UK.

These little boys had several things in common.  They were very, very sick with little hope of recovery.  Their parents loved them very, very much and wanted to do everything they could to help them survive.  And the UK medical and judiciary system decided that both boys should die.  The parents and others wanting to continue medical treatment were banned from doing so.  When the parents asked the government for permission to take their sons out of the country to receive medical care in the US or in Italy, where care was offered, they were denied.

Charlie Gard is now deadAlfie Evans is still alive as this is being written, even after being taken off of life support, but is not receiving any care.  He will most likely die soon.

Socialized medicine failed these two boys.  Their government failed these two families.  Theories and models are not as important as the very real lives affected by the choices we make about governance.

Of course, there are financial costs.  Socialized healthcare does not pay for itself, but is dependent upon increasing subsidies.  In this country, Medicare patients must pay for supplemental insurance themselves to cover essential services.  Those who live in nations with socialized healthcare systems must travel to other countries, including the US, to get the medical care they need.  Premiums go up.  Taxes go up.

However, the real cost is in human suffering.  Perhaps the most compelling example of this is Charlie Gard.  This UK infant was diagnosed with a terminal, incurable disease, and the state ordered him taken off of life support.  His parents wanted permission to try an experimental treatment in the US, but the UK courts denied their request.  You can read a concise summary of the case here: http://www.unionleader.com/editorial/Pray-for-Charlie-Gard-The-cost-of-socialized-medicine-07262017  Charlie’s mother offers a more personal and detailed account here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/24/charlie-gard-mothers-full-statement-sorry-couldnt-save/

In short, socializing medicine takes power away from individual and family, and puts the power into the hands of faceless bureaucrats who do not care about individual and family (unless it is their own).  In the case of Charlie Gard, the UK healthcare system actively killed the patient.

What they were elected to do.

partytime

The Republicans control the House, the Senate and the White House.  When the Democrats controlled these, they gave us Obamacare.  But Republicans, even Senators who swore to repeal the healthcare fiasco, can’t bring themselves to repeal or replace or even significantly amend.

More and more, the Republicans seem to be Democrats.  (The Democrats seem to be Socialists.)  I guess we’ll have to try again next time.

sonoffrank

They don’t work.  But don’t take my word for it.  It’s been tried multiple places in the US and abroad.  How did it work out for patients and taxpayers?  See for yourself: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/05/23/surprise-californias-singlepayer-healthcare-plan-would-cost-400-billionper-year-n2330456