*Just prior to publishing a judge ruled that Alfie will be allowed to return home with his parents, but will not be permitted to leave the country.

Little Alfie Evans has been fighting for his life in a British hospital for months. His parents have been fighting for his right to fight for his life. The world has been watching as the tragically broken British healthcare system has made every effort to deny Alfie’s parents the right to decide what is best for him. In a nation that was once the beacon of freedom for the European continent it seems shockingly tragic that any citizen must beg of the very people tasked with healing for the right to live.

Yet this is exactly what is happening (yet again). Though Alfie has been granted medical care and residency in Italy the National Health Service (NHS) is still prohibiting Alfie’s parents from removing him from the hospital and the hospital itself has even refused to allow them to remain by his side as he succumbs to the death the NHS has prescribed for him.

It’s enough to make one scream.

After removing Alfie’s oxygen against the wishes and pleading of mom and dad Tom Evans and Kate James, the tough tyke has continued his fight for life. He’s been breathing on his own, to the astonishment of hospital staff.

The case is still being heard in the courts nearly every day and information is hard to come but there is some indication that the judge in Alfie’s case may be considering the possibility of allowing the sick child to be released to his parents. It seems the judge did submit a question to Alder Hey Hospital (where Alfie is being left to die treated) asking if it would be possible for him to be safely moved from the hospital to the home of his parents.

There is no indication of whether or not the hospital thinks this is a possibility, or how they even interpret “safely”. One might ask themselves why on earth they would care if it was “safe” or not to move him given the fact that they just took away his breathing aids with the intention of letting him die. And then there’s this:

But a clinician has reportedly told the judge that a “genuine fear” among hospital staff from angry demonstrators supporting Alfie’s family would make the move “impossible” at present.

It seems the concern is more for the staff’s perceived safety than Alfie’s.

If Evans and James are indeed allowed to take their son home, that still doesn’t mean they’ll be granted the right to leave the country with their child for other treatment options in Italy. In a previous controversial case, the parents of little Charlie Gard were denied the right to take their child abroad for care and treatment despite raising all the necessary funds to pay for everything themselves.

Just imagine the rage and helplessness these parents must be feeling right now. In a supposedly “free country”, they have to ask the permission of perfect strangers to seek life-saving treatment for their child…to even take their child home to die in the comfort of his home…to even stay by his side 24/7 to comfort him in his final hours. Just imagine having to ask permission of your “democratically elected” officials to take your child on a trip out of the country…for any reason, let alone one that might save his life.

Permission.

Although it is still reprehensible to put a price on a child’s life, the NHS is certainly within it’s rights to decide that some treatment options are just too costly given the odds of survival. After all, this is the agreement every citizen in a state with socialized medicine agrees to when they vote for such policies.

However, it seems nothing but spiteful – even evil – to deny a parent the right to pursue life-saving care for their dying child or the right to simply take that dying child home for his last breaths. Especially considering that not only would the move relieve the financial burden of Alfie’s care from the NHS but also remove the bad press.

It looks as thought the NHS and the British courts are more interested in saving face than saving a life.