Doctors in England want to override the parents of a disabled little boy and you ain’t their son’s life support. However the parents of Alfie Evans want to take him to a hospital in the Vatican that they say will offer the kind of care and treatment British doctors refuse to provide.
The case is another case similar to that of Charlie Gard or Terri Schiavo, where courts and doctors are deciding treatment options for patients rather than their family. Such decisions are putting the very lives of patients at risk rather than providing them proper care and treatment.
As LifeNews has reported, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England, has asked the court to allow the hospital to disconnect the life support systems of 20-month-old Alfie Evans.
His young parents, Tom Evans, 21, and Kate James, 20, are fighting to convince Mr. Justice Hayden to allow them to remove their son from Alder Hey and be taken to the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome. “They said the hospital would give him a tracheotomy and a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) to allow him to be fed through his stomach,” according to the BBC.
The hospital refuses, saying it is not in Alfie’s “best interests.” The family, the hospital, and various other parties are in the middle of a several-day-long hearing in which emotions, unsurprisingly, are running very high.
In a new interview, Evans’ parents talked about the latest fight in this long battle to save Alfie’s life.
“I’m not holding on to anything. I’m holding on to Alfie. He looks at me in the eyes and tells me he needs help,” said Evans, according to the Liverpool Echo.
“The quality of life he’s got not – he’s there, he has got a quality of life. 100 percent, and he can come out of this,” Evans continued, saying “we know he is not going to recover, but we also know in our son we see potential and we see life.”
While doctors at the Alder Hey hospital have called further life-saving efforts for Alfie “futile,” his parents are requesting their son’s transfer to the Vatican-linked Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital in Rome, also known as the “Pope’s Hospital.”
Doctors at the Bambino Gesu hospital have suggested operations that would help Alfie breathe and eat, which could prolong his life.
Alfie, who was born in May 2016, is surviving with an estimated 70 percent loss of his brain nerve fiber, and reportedly only has brain activity during seizures. Doctors who have been involved in his case testified in court that continuing to treat Alfie in his current state is “unkind,” and moved to end Alfie’s life in December.
Alfie’s parents have said that their son is improving, and want to seek other alternatives at the Bambino Gesu Hospital – the same hospital that offered care in the 2017 case of Charlie Gard, a U.K. baby who was dying of a terminal illness due to a rare genetic disease. British and European courts had sided with officials from Great Ormond Street Hospital, who successfully sought to bar Charlie Gard’s parents from seeking treatment for their child overseas.
Alfie’s father explained more details about his son’s problems with seizures and an unknown brain disorder.
“… his doctors clearly have said to us that they don’t know the extent of any injury to his brain and that movements that they originally put down to reflexes and seizures – may not be that at all. Alfie has brain function – he is not in a vegetative state – he is not brain dead. He has a future and a life in front of him to live. He hasn’t given up and neither are we,” he wrote.
Evans said they are fighting tooth and nail to give their son the opportunities that some people want to deny him. They are looking for specialists who could offer some sort of treatment to help their son.
“We will continue to fight … until Alfie wakes up or Alfie gives up,” his father said.
More than 22,000 people have been following the infant’s journey on a Facebook page called Alfie’s Army. Family and friends post frequent updates, photos and requests for the infant and his parents.