Alfie Evans’ Short Life Demonstrates Where Abandoning the Sanctity of Every Human Life Leads
Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land: With the British Baby’s Death, the World Witnesses a Post-Christian, Post-Human Culture That Becomes Abjectly Pagan
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Reminiscent of the heart-breaking story of Charlie Gard, 23-month-old Alfie Evans’s ordeal ended early Saturday morning after medics had won a court battle to allow him to die as a result of a degenerative brain condition—against the wishes of his parents and even Pope Francis, reported the UK’s The Sun. His parents are considering holding his funeral May 9, which would have been Alfie’s second birthday.
Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) President and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land wrote a new commentary for The Christian Post, where he serves as executive editor, about the baby’s tragic death and what it means for the sanctity of life and the state of a post-Christian culture.
“I believe with all my heart Alfie is now in the arms of Jesus for eternity,” Land said. “Sadly, our ordeal to survive as a civilized, humane society continues.”
Land added that little Alfie survived for five days after his respirator was cut off. Indeed, even afterward, the British medical personnel seemed shocked that the child Alfie continued to attempt to successfully breathe, assisted periodically by his mother and father administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when Alfie’s lips would start turning blue.
“Like little British baby Charlie Gard last fall, Britain’s National Health Service officials (NHS), the British courts and then the European court, refused to allow Alfie’s parents to remove their son from the hospital,” Land wrote. “Their stated goal was to not needlessly ‘prolong his suffering.’ So, instead, they administered ‘death therapy’ by physically preventing Alfie’s parents from taking him elsewhere for medical assistance. This heartless and dangerously precedent-setting decision was upheld in the courts even though there were viable alternatives available that would not cost the NHS a farthing financially.”
The Italian people had granted Alfie citizenship in their country and sent a specially equipped ambulance plane to stand by, ready at a moment’s notice to fly Alfie and his parents to Rome for free treatment in the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu (“Baby Jesus”) hospital. But the British authorities posted armed guards around the hospital to prevent anyone from removing Alfie from his medical prison, despite pleas from Pope Francis himself.
“This is where abandoning the sanctity of every human life ethic leads—a post-Christian, post-human culture that becomes abjectly pagan,” Land said. “Britain has become an ever more secular society with each passing decade. The Britain of C. S. Lewis is a fading memory.
“Alfie Evans joins a large and growing caravan of patients who have become martyrs to the ‘quality of life’ ethic that empowers government authorities to sever the sacred bonds between parents and their children and prevent parents from doing what they believe is best for their children,” he continued. “Make no mistake— the spiritual and cultural death spiral into a dangerous moral abyss is gathering alarming momentum.”
It is not as if the world hasn’t seen this scenario played out before in human history, Land added. In the name of “compassion” and “humanity,” doctors in the Third Reich asserted that some human beings could slip below the minimum threshold necessary for a sufficient quality of life and were thus subject to being exterminated. The first victims of the Holocaust were 10,000 mentally challenged German children who were judged by medical authorities with swastikas on their white lab coats to be living lives unworthy of life—“Lebenswertes leben”—and were gassed and cremated in a gruesome dress rehearsal for the mass killings that would follow in a few years.
“Little Alfie Evans and those who have gone before him are the canaries in the coal mine, warning us that ‘all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights’ is under severe and sustained assault and must be vigorously defended or lost to the mists of history,” said Land. “Alfie’s plight is a window on a dark world that could be our collective future. A society is judged by how humanely it treats the most vulnerable and defenseless in its midst. If so, America and the West are failing that basic test of decency.”
SES has announced the 2018 National Conference on Christian Apologetics, which will focus on the theme of “The God Who Is” on Oct. 12-13. The seminary will welcome top thinkers, scholars, authors, apologists and scientific minds, including Ravi Zacharias, to its 25th annual conference, which will be held at Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Read more about Southern Evangelical Seminary and SES President Dr. Richard Land here.