To hear it from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, doctors have some sort of unanimous view that Alfie Evans is too far gone and does not deserve continuing medical support and treatment or even experimental treatment.
That was the argument before judges in courts: that doctors were supposedly ubiquitous in their view that Alfie’s degenerative neurological condition made it so he had no hope or prospect for survival.
But a British doctors group is disagreeing. In a statement today, The Medical Ethics Alliance expressed its horror over the treatment of Alfie Evans that it called a “medical tyranny.” It demanded Alfie’s release from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and indicated that it supports Alfie’s family and its efforts to take him to a hospital in Rome Italy that will provide medical care, treatment, and a potential experimental treatments.
Alder Hey said it was “not in Alfie’s best interests” to continue treatment and the child has been taken off of a ventilator. But The Medical Ethics Alliance disagreed.
“We are deeply concerned and outraged by the treatment and care offered to Alfie Evans,” said the Medical Ethics Alliance (MEA) in an April 24 statement. “Wanting to withdraw treatment so that he will die, the medical authorities have taken Alfie to the High Court. At that point, and as a result of the hospital’s court action, the parents were stripped of their right to be decision-makers for their beloved child. They could only advise the Court and look on as the High Court made decisions for Alfie.”
“The High Court decided that it was in the ‘Best Interests’ of Alfie to die and duly authorized the withdrawal of treatment,” the statement read. “As a result, the parents are being tortured as they watch the hospital take actions expected to lead to his death.”
“Despite a viable alternative being available (namely transfer by air ambulance for further assessment to a specialist hospital in Rome), the hospital and doctors responsible for his care insist that he remain under their care and on a pathway towards death,” said the Medical Ethics Alliance.
“While he now has some oxygen and some fluid, this has taken huge effort to obtain for him,” the Alliance added. “He is offered sedation although (we understand) this has not been given at present. Sedation (if given) would mean that he would develop respiratory failure and die even more quickly.”
“Medical tyranny must stop,” it added. “Poor Alfie must not be killed in this way. We demand that the authorities to allow Alfie safe passage to Rome. With respect we insist that with immediate effect the GMC investigate the actions of doctors providing his care. Surely the doctors should refuse to implement such a tyrannical decision and allow Alfie to go to Rome.”
Six doctors signed the statement, including:
Dr Anthony Cole. Medical Ethics Alliance
Dr Thomas Ward
Dr Adrian Treloar
Dr Robert Hardie
Dr Josephne Venn-Treloar
Dr Carlos Augusto Casanova Guerra
An air ambulance has arrived outside the hospital where little Alfie Evans is located. Alfie has breathed on his own and has survived for over 18 hours after the Children’s Hospital yanked his life support.
Alfie has defied doctors’ expectations to this point and his parents are headed back to court to fight for his life further. They are hoping to be able to get life support restored and also want to be able to take him to Italy, which granted him citizenship yesterday.