Court Seizes Custody of Alfie Evans From His Parents, Makes Him a Ward of the State

International   Steven Ertelt   Apr 13, 2018   |   11:35AM    London, England

The battle over the life of Alfie Evans has taken a turn for the worst in the UK.

Yesterday, Alfie’s parents relied on a letter from a pro-life attorney saying they have the legal right to withdraw Alfie from the hospital. However police blocked them from getting Alfie and leaving. Today Alfie’s parents, via their media coordinator, indicated that courts have seized custody of Alfie and made him a ward of the state.

UPDATE: Alfie’s parents have corrected their press release to indicate they still have custody of Alfie. But the hospital continues to refuse their request to transfer him or withdraw him from the hospital.

“We are outraged that in further legally indefensible steps during the night, the hospital obtained a faxed order making Alfie a ward of the court, removing parental rights from Tom and Kate over their son Alfie, taking effect at noon today,” Alfie’s parents Tom Evans and Kate James said in a statement. “This once again is logically backwards, as all parents are responsible to protect their child from threats to life, and the hospital is effectively claiming that it is more dangerous for Alfie to live in peace with love and quality care than to die by the hands of his doctors. This is not a sign of a free country; this is dictatorship of the state.”

Although Alfie’s parents have lined up treatment at the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome for him and have medical transport ready to go. Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in England continues to refuse their request to transfer Alfie.

“Alder Hey hospital called in police to stop Alfie’s transfer, locking all doors, setting off a fire alarm and removing all children from the PICU. This merely proves first that Alder Hey is acting in violation of parental rights, second that Alfie is indeed a prisoner if the police are being used, and third their tactics are simply hysterical,” the family’s statement added.

The family’s statement reads:

We are outraged that in further legally indefensible steps during the night , the hospital obtained a faxed order making Alfie a ward of the court, removing parental rights from Tom and Kate over their son Alfie , taking effect at noon today . This once again is logically backwards, as all parents are responsible to protect their child from threats to life, and the hospital is effectively claiming that it is more dangerous for Alfie to live in peace with love and quality care than to die by the hands of his doctors. This is not a sign of a free country; this is dictatorship of the state. Hail Britannia.

Happily, thanks to the efforts of Stroilov and Diamond, a court order was also handed down Thursday , mandating a stay of execution until Monday, when the family’s appeal for the unanswered claim of Habeas Corpus will be heard.

The family wishes to immediately move Alfie by air ambulance to the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome, which has offered free care for the rest of Alfie’s life, including the comfort and health – enhancing standard tracheostomy and PEG feeding tube which Alder Hey refuses to give.

The parents are delighted to accept the generous offer by the prestigious Carlo Besta Neurological Institute in Milan, putting a staff of 300 at Alfie’s service for directing comprehensive diagnostics. This will determine the course of Alfie’s future care and allow the family to put the long – denied questions and concerns to rest. After the diagnostics and resulting care plan are followed, Alfie will be able to be transferred to live at home with his parents. Alfie does not need palliative care per se, because he is not dying. He has suffered injury to his brain of an undiagnosed origin, but he is improving as he grows and overdoses of sedating drugs are reduced. We can only imagine what could happen when Alfie receives proper diagnostics and standard humane care, and the parents are prepared to love and care for their son in any case. Hayden J. was without justification when he inexplicably declared in court that Alfie had a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, a highly disputed idea without proof.

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Earlier today, British news media reports made it appear Alfie’s parents were getting a second chance to stop the hospital from yanking his life support but the court hearing could be related to a fight over custody. Appeal court officials said an appeal court judge had decided that Alfie should continue to receive treatment pending Monday’s Court of Appeal hearing.

Alfie’s parents seemingly had exhausted all of their legal options to prevent Alder Hey Children’s Hospital from cutting off Alfie’s life support without their consent.

But today, Alfie’s parents are set to push forward with another legal challenge to allow their son to stay alive — even though a court ruled earlier in the week when the hospital can shut down his life support.

Tom Evans and Kate James are heading to a Court of Appeal to ask judges to allow their 23 month old son to continue to receive medical care and treatment. Officials with the appeals court say a hearing has been scheduled for Monday.

The hearing comes after a drama-filled day in London where Alfie’s parents relied on a letter from a pro-life attorney saying they have the legal right to withdraw Alfie from the hospital. However police blocked them from getting Alfie and leaving.

Last month, a European court that is supposedly devoted to protecting people’s human rights sentenced little Alfie Evans to death. The European Court of Human Rights has denied his parents’ request in moving him to a hospital that will actually provide him care rather than removing his life support.

Although Alfie’s parents have already lined up a hospital in Rome to provide him with a proper care and treatment plan, British courts as well as the European Court have sided with the hospital and its desire to yank his life support — saying he has little or no hope left.

Alfie, who was born May 9, 2016, has a devastating degenerative brain disorder that has baffled physicians and specialists. Alfie has been a patient at Alder Hey Childrens’ Hospital since December 2016. The hospital has asked the courts for authority to disconnect Alfie’s ventilator.

The parents have asked for permission to move Alfie to a hospital in Rome for further evaluation and possible additional treatment.

The hospital balked at the request. They argue Alfie’s condition is terminal and that the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome can do nothing more than Alder Hey already has.

On February 20, after a seven-day hearing, Mr. Justice Hayden concluded, “I am satisfied that continued ventilatory support is no longer in Alfie’s interests,” and that maintaining Alfie alive on a ventilator would compromise his “future dignity,” mirroring the conclusions reached by Alder Hey Childrens’ Hospital.

Recently, Tom Evans obtained a letter from a pro-life attorney, Pavel Stroilov of the Christian Legal Centre, advising him that it would be legal for him to remove his son from the hospital — but police prevented him from doing so.

Evans and friends and family posted video on Facebook of the failed attempt to remove Alfie from the hospital.

“I have a documentation saying that I have the right to take my son out of this hospital,” Evans says in the video.

“Alder Hey is stopping us. Alder Hey is calling the police. To murder my son. Alder Hey has phoned the police to stop me from taking my son out of the hospital,” Evans continued. “This is my son. Look at my healthy, healthy young boy who’s undiagnosed and is certainly not dying. There’s the ventilator. We have all the equipment.”

Stroilov’s letter informs Evans: “You have asked me to clarify whether it would be legal for you to remove your son Alfie from Alder Hey Hospital without the Hospital’s consent. In Alfie’s situation, that would only be practical with the support of a team of medical professionals with the necessary life support equipment.”

“Subject to that, I can confirm that such a removal would be lawful under English law,” he continued. “Alfie is only in hospital because you, his parents, voluntarily sought its healthcare services. Alfie retains the right to self-discharge from hospital. He is not imprisoned there. Because of his minority, it is for you, as his parents, to make a decision to self-discharge or to stay at hospital.”

He added: “The effect of the declaratory orders made by Mr Justice Hayden in the High Court is to make it lawful for Alder Hey to withdraw his artificial ventilation treatment, and to protect Alder Hay and its staff from legal liability for that step. It is not the intention or effect of the order to circumvent Alfie’s personal liberty or your parental rights. It remains lawful for an alternative team of medical professionals, with your parental consent, to provide such medical treatment to Alfie as they professionally deem to be appropriate.”

Below is the full legal letter:

Dear Tom,

You have asked me to clarify whether it would be legal for you to remove your son Alfie from Alder Hey Hospital without the Hospital’s consent. In Alfie’s situation, that would be practical with the support of a team of medical professionals with the necessary life support equipment.

Subject to that, I can confirm that such a removal would be lawful under English law.

Alfie is only in hospital because you, his parents, voluntarily sought its healthcare services. Alfie retains the right to self-discharge from hospital. He is not imprisoned there. Because of his minority, it is for you, as his parents, to make a decision to self-discharge or to stay at hospital.

The effect of the declaratory orders made by Mr Justice Hayden in the High Court is to make it lawful for Alder Hey to withdraw his artificial ventilation treatment, and to protect Alder Hey and its staff from legal liability for that step. It is not the intention or effect of the order to circumvent Alfie’s personal liberty or your parental rights. It remains lawful for an alternative team of medical professionals, with your parental consent, to provide such medical treatment to Alfie as they professionally deem to be appropriate.

As you know, today Mr Justice Hayden made a further order scheduling the withdrawal of ventilation from Alfie [REDACTED]. The legal position may arguably become more complicated if someone within the High Court’s jurisdiction continues to provide ventilation after that point. However, there is no doubt that, until that point in time, it remains entirely lawful to provide ventilation to Alfie; and that can be done by a medical service provider of your choice.

For these reasons, as a matter of law it is your right to come to Alder Hey Hospital with a team of medical professionals with their own life-support equipment, and move Alfie to such other place you consider is best for him. You do not need any permission from Alder Hey Hospital or the Court to do so.

Hope this clarifies the matter.

Christian Legal Centre