Editor’s Note: Eileen Peterson has been among the leading pro-life, pro-family activists in Rockland County NY, for decades, including with the Project Rachel Ministry. She runs Rockland’s 40 Days for Life and LIFE Chain, and is the national legislative point person for Catholic Daughters. She and her husband Harold have seven children. Charles Camosy recently spoke with Peterson about the case of Alta Fixsler in the United Kingdom.
Who is Alta Fixsler and why has she been in the news lately?
Alta Fixsler is a wonderful, cute, two-year old baby. She was born in December 2018. She is currently struggling to live in the British Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital on life support.
Struggling against formidable natural threats to her life, on July 9 she was sentenced to death by the British Court of Appeal, for the “crime” of being a vulnerable baby valiantly struggling with brain damage. Alta could live for years, but the pleas of her parents’ and community to England — joined by strong bipartisan support from US Senators and the U.S. State Department for saving Alta — are falling on deaf ears in the U.K.
Her doctors claim that Alta has “no conscious awareness,” as if that’s a justification for pulling the plug. Outrageously, the British Court system has backed the medical experts’ decision to actively allow Alta to die. Thus, those entrusted with ensuring justice are enabling its polar opposite.
This sounds a lot like the well-known travesties of Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard. So in some ways it isn’t surprising to see this, but I imagine there are differences?
Yes, primarily because Alta is the daughter of a U.S. citizen. That provides us a formidable strategic advantage, which must be leveraged to highlight the sheer evil here. Doing so will help all children, U.S. citizens and otherwise.
Furthermore, Alta already has a Visa to come here to the U.S. A NJ hospital is already prepared to accept Alta for medical treatment. On top of that, an international medical transport team has offered to take her to the U.S., at no expense whatsoever to the British. The only thing that’s holding her back is her medical team and British courts.
Can you say more about why US American participation so important here?
We have influence other countries lack. The United States is still a global superpower, whose citizens the British cannot abuse with impunity. If enough American elected officials speak out unequivocally, they will be unable to easily ignore their demands to protect children of U.S. citizens.
Bipartisan work by U.S. Senators has already begun, including some Senators who are on the morally wrong side of life issues the majority of the time. In addition, ten Republican senators have also written to President Biden saying: “We are profoundly troubled that the child of an American citizen is being treated this way, in a country with whom we have a deep alliance and special relationship,” they wrote. “We urge you to advocate to Prime Minister Johnson on behalf of the Fixsler family.”
But that’s obviously not been enough. We are told that nothing can be done about the forthcoming murder by omission perpetrated under aegis of the “independent” judiciary. Quoted in the NY Post, a representative of the British NY Consulate General claimed that, “Under UK law, the decision about Alta’s welfare is one for the independent judiciary and not the British Government. The courts are bound by law to make a decision on the basis of what is in Alta’s best interests.”
We cannot let them hide behind the judiciary. We need more US pressure brought to bear.
What’s the motivation here, in your view?
It’s the euthanasia agenda which has been metastasizing in various countries lately. It’s not even greed–as evil as that would be–it’s creed. It is culture. The culture of death, incremental and barely masked.
Those who rebel against God have a knack of playing God — becoming an imposter of Him, as it were — in deciding whose life is worth living and whose life is worth ending. Those who deny God ultimately sink to the level of denying the dignity of humanity in the most lethal ways, as anyone marginally familiar with world history already knows.
There is an expansive UK website, for instance, addressing children at risk of dying. Much of it is devoted to helping them die, replete with euphemistic whitewash of the moral abyss into which they are driving their culture. Note well that the expression “short life” was used by the appeals judge in referring to Alta. The hospital’s plan for Alta is quite apparently standard operating procedure. It’s horrible.
Nevertheless, there is hope. Americans united can stop this evil by unmasking it, unapologetically and unrelentingly.
What specifically can we do to help save Alta?
Firstly, you can call your U.S. Senator and Congressman, urging them to unapologetically and publicly demand that England free Alta, and declare to England that if anything happens to Alta, the United States will consider that an act of aggression against America and its children.
Secondly, please consider sharing your thoughts with family, friends, and clergy. Also write your bishops. Ask them to contact Pope Francis as well–he was a true champion for Alfie Evans, and we need him again here for Alta. And it isn’t just about her; who knows how many more innocent children are and will be at risk of being terminated by British hospitals? Decisive action on Alta could help save many more lives.
But one life is enough. As the Rabbis of the Talmud have stated: Saving just one life is tantamount to “saving the entire world.”