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.

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.

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


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