Faithwire recently shared the story of Robbie Kramer, a Kansas mother whose adult son, Keith, suffers from an undiagnosed condition very similar to that of 23-month-old U.K. boy Alfie Evans. The difference between Keith, 26, and Alfie is that Keith’s family was granted permission to bring him home and care for him for the duration of his life, which has far exceeded doctors’ predictions.
In a recent interview with Faithwire, Mrs. Kramer explained why those who advocate “death with dignity” for children like Alfie are gravely misguided. She hopes that by sharing her family’s story, she can help persuade those in power to spare little Alfie the premature fate of the late Charlie Gard.
According to Kramer, a U.K. court’s recent ruling to eventually remove Alfie Evans from life support against his parents’ wishes is the result of a popular but misguided view of human dignity.
“The statement ‘Death with Dignity’ has been misconstrued and changed, and the public is being coerced into thinking that it is more merciful to die a death by suffocation, as will be in Alfie’s case, than to live a life of peace and love with his family or to die a natural death in his own environment, instead of a hospital setting,” Mrs. Kramer told Faithwire in an email.
She explained that “death with dignity” has become the euphemism of choice for lawmakers, healthcare providers and technocrats who are so blinded by sin that they say “evil, be thou my good,” and choose death over life.
“It now has become a ‘nice thing to say’ to make others and themselves feel better about the fact that they are actually killing an individual because they don’t like the way the person is living or they don’t know how to fix them and won’t admit it to themselves or anyone else,” she said.
Kramer, a Catholic Christian, believes that extreme disabilities like Alfie’s or Keith’s make people intensely uncomfortable because they reveal the limits of human control.
“Some see a loss of worthiness if one can not contribute to the world, if one can not interact within the confines of the doctors’ understanding,” she said. “This is the major error of our times — we seem to think we must be in control of everything and everyone leaving out the One who actually is in control. There is no dignity in this pretense — none.”
Keith’s doctors initially predicted that he would have 14 months to live. And while the future has never been certain for the now-26-year-old, Kramer and her husband Richard have embraced their duty as caretakers as “an opportunity to grow in holiness.”
“Even though he hasn’t spoken a word since he was three years old, he has converted hearts, helping people who care for him find their way back to God,” she shared. “We have watched Keith truly live a life of dignity in suffering and sacrifice.”
Kramer added that her son has brought her family “closer to God than anything else has in this world.”
“He has taught us the importance of family, of helping one another, of loving unconditionally, of forgiveness and that life is what you make of it in your circumstance.”
But caring for Keith has also presented very real challenges for the Kramers. And while they’ve come to “rely on the grace of God” for strength during tough times, Robbie Kramer says she “wasn’t always as confident in God’s love and care.”
As a young mother of three, Kramer “had many questions that needed answers,” but she wasn’t so sure God was able or willing to answer them.
“I wanted to know where the miracles had gone that we heard stories of in the Bible. Why didn’t I see these miracles happening now? So I set about trying to find out what happened to them. I read many books, I spoke to many people, I even drove from Kansas to Nashville, part way in a blizzard, to attend a conference on how to pray for healing. I was determined to find out where God had gone. I think about myself back then and realize He was standing right there next to me — I just didn’t understand I needed to open my heart to see Him. I hardly prayed. Those were the keys I was missing. I was going through the motion of breathing and living, carrying on in life, but without Him and His beautiful entourage of heavenly helpers.”
“I prayed for Keith’s healing, but I think I received it instead,” she said.
When Mrs. Kramer sees a case like Charlie Gard’s or Alfie Evans’, she can’t help but to think of the rich blessings that doctors and courts are denying the parents by ending these young lives. She believes the people in power who have decided that Alfie Evans is better off dead “have a misguided understanding of love.” And while she is angered and saddened by their actions, she ultimately pities them.
“They lash out against God and everything that is truth, goodness and beauty because they themselves need it most and have lost the ability to see it,” she said.
Please join Robbie Kramer in praying that those in charge of Alfie Evans’ fate might have a change of heart and allow him to live in the fullness of his God-given dignity.