Medical Tyranny and Parental Authority
It seems that most of the globe has been holding its breath in anticipation of the outcome of baby Alfie’s case. Articles and updates have been shared tens of thousands of times, with some social media commenters writing that they couldn’t sleep for worry about the little boy. Young mothers, friends of mine, have been crying and praying for Alfie and his family, knowing how they would feel in a similar situation. This morning, we have the news that Alfie will be returning home with his parents; a statement read by his father, praising the Alder Hey hospital, has been likened to a hostage note.
As a parent, the most worrying aspect of the Alfie Evans case is that I may one day be in a position where I won’t be able to make decisions about my children. The scariest people in life aren’t socialist activists or Apex gang-members. No, most frightening are those who have the legal authority to take my children away from me. Many innocent people have been viciously mown down by an ideologically-motivated bureaucrat driving a red-tape-fuelled machine. There are children in care – now – who should rightfully be with their parents, or at least with one of them.
That kind of despotic authority doesn’t come from God and it isn’t part of natural law. Both God’s law and natural law teach that parents should have unfettered authority over their children – and for good reason: parental authority is kept in check by parental obligations.
It is a child’s parents who conceived him or her and accepted and birthed him. The parents alone nurtured that child, protected him, sheltered and fed him, and know him better than anyone else alive. They know his strengths and his weaknesses, and are responsible for training him and teaching him self-control. Parents can seek advice – and good parents certainly may need to do this – but they are the ones to evaluate the relevance of that advice and theirs is the choice to act or not to act on it.
Jacqueline Laing writes in Analysis & Review:
One of the reasons Evans causes public consternation is because it is really about liberty – not principally the right to life. It involves related questions about parental liberty to access treatments, care, second opinions, and diagnoses at other hospitals available to them. Properly interpreted, these rights are guaranteed under Articles 5 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). Of course, abusive or neglectful parents are not in the same position. Where parents propose abusive or neglectful behaviour, the liberty and family life principles give way to the decision of the court. In ordinary circumstances, however, the state is in no position to adopt the lifelong care, decision-making and commitment that goes into rearing a child. It is ill equipped to mimic the commitment of families.
As human beings, we all struggle and none of us are perfect. But there are very few situations in which a child is not better off with his or her own parents, even acknowledging the very real struggles and extreme weaknesses some parents have. And yet, we are seeing daily, more frequent and brazen attacks on parental authority and its usurpation by the state.
Some other cases of medical tyranny
It wasn’t so long ago that the world united in prayer and concern for another little boy, Charlie Gard. His parents’ authority was overruled by the UK courts, who deemed that it wasn’t in Charlie’s best interests to be flown to the US for experimental treatment. This was despite his parents having access to the funds required and a great deal of support worldwide. Sadly, Charlie died soon after his life support was removed.
Terri Schiavo, although an adult, was slowly starved and dehydrated to death because the US courts wouldn’t allow her parents to make decisions on her behalf. Instead, her adulterous husband (and financial beneficiary!) was allowed to sentence Terri to death, and police on duty were instructed to arrest anyone who attempted to give her a sip of water.
There have been cases of parents losing custody of their children for failing to allow them to undergo transition therapy and change their biological sex. Instead of providing families the support needed to help them navigate a child’s serious psychological struggle with his or her sexual identity, gender-dysphoria ‘experts’ can use the legal system to pry children away from their natural parents and into dangerous, experimental treatment regimes.
Even forced sterilisation and forced abortion aren’t outside the scope of a tyrannical medical system. In the UK, a disabled girl came very close to having her baby forcibly aborted because authorities deemed her incapable of consenting to a pregnancy. Fortunately in this case, the High Court judge ruled that the young girl, although profoundly intellectually handicapped, was in fact able to decide to accept a child, and she was allowed to continue her pregnancy, with the full support of her family. In a similar case in the US, a mentally-handicapped Catholic woman was almost forced to abort, but her parents achieved victory and life for her child through the legal system. The fact that anyone in a free and democratic society could even possibly be forced to abort should scare us all.
Some educational tyranny
It isn’t only in the medical realm that parents are losing their authority. The ongoing controversy about the Safe-Schools program and similar curricula is evidence that there are unseen powers who believe that they know what’s best for our children. It is bad enough that parents in some jurisdictions are unable to opt their children out of classes they feel aren’t suitable, but it should set off alarm bells when parents aren’t able to find out details of the content in question. I’ve spoken to parents who’ve taken great pains to get to the bottom of exactly what it is that their children are being taught. Principles give different answers from teachers, teachers give different answers from well-being counsellors, students might have a different take again. The secrecy and misinformation are shocking: when political expediency is thrown into the mix, it becomes overwhelming.
Parents pick up the tab
Parents may be denied control over their children’s care but there’s little doubt that they pay for the tragic decisions, both emotionally and literally. For example, in the oft-quoted analogy, children are unable to buy painkillers or alcohol, but are given access to contraception and even abortion without their parents’ knowledge. In New Zealand, a school employee took a teenage student for an abortion without notifying the girl’s parents. The distraught mother only learned of the abortion weeks later, after finding her daughter trying to commit suicide at home. Fortunately, the mother was able to get her daughter the support she needed, but has lost forever the grandchild she would have willingly accepted and helped to raise – a huge emotional toll on both mother and daughter.
My own daughter was offered contraception by a GP without my knowledge – but there was no question as to who would be picking up the bill, had their been one. Parents, by default, are expected to pay for decisions into which they have no input – and for products and services to which they may be completely opposed. Ditto for school excursions, uniforms and iPads: parents may be in the dark about the content of their child’s schooling, but its cost is always precisely set out and politely demanded.
While medical services at the centre of the Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans cases might be free to parents under the NHS, the emotional cost is extremely high. Parents are expected to sit by while the ‘experts’ appropriate parental authority and make decisions with far-reaching ramifications. In fact, the Charlie Gard case was quoted in courtroom testimony during Alfie Evans’ case – each act of medical tyranny provides more legal fodder for the next.
What’s behind it all?
At the heart of this despotism is an agenda with which we are becoming all too familiar: the destruction of the family and the advancement of the culture of death. In her book, The Global Sexual Revolution, sociologist Gabriele Kuby writes:
The political power and huge financial resources of the UN, the EU, the government of the United States and other countries, and the billions controlled by foundations, global corporations, and NGOs, have been thrown behind the effort to deconstruct the binary gender order, deregulate sexual norms, dissolve the family, and reduce the world population.
The sexualised school curricula that is being foisted on unsuspecting parents is hard evidence of this agenda. Medical intervention, as witnessed in the Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard cases and others, also achieves several of these goals. It weakens the family by usurping parental authority and reduces the population by demanding that the weak and vulnerable be eliminated. This is eugenics at work. Jacqueline Laing again:
Resistant medical staff having been identified and eliminated, those remaining are all too eager to demonstrate their commitment to the removal of food, water and care from those demonstrating insufficient “quality of life”. These members of Britain’s medico legal establishment – academics, judges, managers and healthcare professionals, are eager to classify disabled, young, elderly or otherwise vulnerable patients as having “no best interests” and “no meaningful life”, “non-persons” in current bioethical parlance, in fact.
Ultimately, this war on the family is a war on God: on His statutes and on His truth. Pro-life microbiologist, Dr. Gerard Nadal, describes the utilitarian medical ethic as one lacking in the three fundamental virtues:
There is a war on for the soul of humanity. The Culture of Death has been holding high carnival for decades with abortion, and now the slippery slope from physician-assisted suicide, to euthanasia, to outright court-sanctioned murder rooted in a pervasive eugenics. There is no room in this worldview for faith, hope, or love. There is only expedience, and expedience in the place of faith, hope, and love, never solved a biomedical riddle.
This statement explains the problem and also provides the solution: exposing the hidden agendas of the rich and powerful must always be accompanied by those three things that will never pass away: faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love, and today, it is the love of Alfie Evans’ parents and of tens of thousands of nameless supporters around the world, that have won the day.
Editor, The Freedoms Project
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