23-month-old Alfie Evans Removed From Life Support Despite Parents' Wishes
On Monday, 23-month-old Alfie Evans’ life support was turned off by Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England, despite objections from his parents.
Evans was admitted to the hospital in December 2016 with an undiagnosed, rare degenerative neurological condition. After lengthy legal battles between his parents and the hospital, the U.K.’s High Court ruled in favor of the hospital.
The hospital argued that keeping Evans on a ventilator was “not in his best interests,” and treatment was “futile” as well as “unkind and inhumane.” Evans continued to breathe on his own Tuesday after coming off the ventilator the previous day.
The case has drawn international attention, including remarks from Pope Francis. Italy granted Evans Italian citizenship in hopes of transferring the boy to a hospital in Rome which would continue his care. The High Court judge ruled that Evans was a U.K. citizen, and the Italian citizenship did not change anything.
Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 23, 2018
On Tuesday, the same judge, Justice Hayden, ruled against Evans parents after they asked for permission to transport the boy to Italy for care.
Supporters of Evans tried to storm the hospital before he was granted citizenship when the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene in the case. Others shared their support on social media.
Alfie Evans' parents are forced to watch their boy die slowly in front of them because the hospital and the courts will not allow them to take their boy to another hospital. This is unconscionable and evil. No decent person could possibly support this.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 24, 2018
Ashamed to be British today, definitely NOT proud. Alfie Evans is no criminal or hindrance he just wanted a chance. His family have been stripped of their parental rights in the name of what? Who is this justice for?
My heart is with #Alfieevans and his family ❤️
— Charls (@charlsck) April 24, 2018
Whether treatment in a different country works or not, why can’t they just let parents do what they want with THEIR child? Everyone saying they should let him die need to imagine what they’d do in their situation ????????♀️ #AlfieEvans
— . (@robynbethdent) April 24, 2018
First Charlie Gard, now Alfie.
If this was a royal baby, would the British courts have ruled so cruelly?
It’s the basic right of parents to seek treatment and care for their little ones. Let Alfie go.#AlfieEvans
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) April 24, 2018
Evans’ case is similar to Charlie Gard, who died after the European Court of Human Rights denied the parents’ request to move the 10-month-old to the U.S. for an experimental treatment for mitochondrial depletion syndrome. The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children said it was in the best interest for Gard to die with dignity, similar to Alder Hey’s argument against giving treatment to Evans.
Photo via Twitter