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

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Rare Disease

As the Supreme Court Considers President Trump's Travel Ban, I'd Like You to Remember This

As the Supreme Court gets ready to consider the legality of the travel ban set into effect by President Trump and his administration, there’s something I’d like you to consider, whether you’re the parent or family member of a child with a disability or illness, or whether you face health challenges of your own. My [...]
Two images, side by side, of baby after surgery. In one he is smiling, in the other he is sleeping. he has wires all over him.

Using My Son's Bravery to Find Strength

Some people say babies can’t be brave because they don’t understand what is going on. I beg to differ. Babies and small children going through big battles are the bravest of the brave. When my son was born with a complex birth defect, I felt like my world was falling apart. I knew what his [...]
mother's hand holding her newborn baby's hand

What the Hardest Parts of Parenting a Rare Child Has Taught Me

When you have a child, there are always things that are harder than others when it comes to parenting. But when you have a child with a rare condition, “normal” everyday things can become harder. Emergency room trips are one of the hardest parts of a rare disease parent. Usually, no one has ever heard [...]

To the Parent on the Other Side of the Treatment Room Door

Sitting with my son as he receives his IV infusion, I can hear the cries of your young child on the other side of the closed door of the treatment room. I did not see your child before she was brought into the treatment room, but now as I hear her cries, I can only [...]