The hospital that fought a court battle to yank little Alfie Evans’ life support without his parents permission has relented — if only for the moment. The hospital will not shut off Evans’ life support after Pope Francis intervened on his behalf.
The delay means there will now be a series of meetings to discuss the best options for Alfie – including the possibility of treatment abroad, which is what his parents have fought for all along.
The intervention means there will now be a series of meetings over the next few days to discuss the best alternatives for the 21-month old infant’s future.
Steven Woolfe, MEP for North West England, visited Alfie at his bedside and later spoke to officials at Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool.
Afterwards he hinted that the infant could be treated overseas in a post on Twitter.
“Just had a meeting at Alder Hey with Alfie’s parents. Hospital agreed not to end Alfie’s life today and will consider the alternative options we presented, including for Alfie to receive treatment available in Italy,” he boasted.
The MEP’s intervention came 24 hours after the Pontiff expressed his hopes on Twitter that “everything necessary would be done” to help the child, who suffers from a mystery brain disorder.
The Holy Father tweeted: “It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard. I am praying for Alfie, for his family and for all who are involved.”
It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard. I am praying for Alfie, for his family and for all who are involved.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 4, 2018
Earlier this week, Alfie’s dad released an emotional statement claiming the hospital have set a date to turn off his son’s ventilation.
He said: “Yesterday me, my brother Daniel and sister Rachael witnessed Alfie do seven breaths out of the blue on his own. We are begging the hospital to continue this process to give us and Alfie the chance to see if he wakes up or improves.
“They want the machine off on Friday but we are still trying to work on a day. Alfie has shown a small, small improvement. He needs his chance.”
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.
Evans and James appealed but on March 6, Lord Justices McFarlane and McCombe and Lady Justice King of the nation’s second highest court concurred with the ruling of Judge Hayden. Last week the nation’s Supreme Court turned down the parents’ request to appeal, leaving an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights as the only recourse open to them.
Evans posted an angry response last week on the Facebook of “Alfie’s Army” following a meeting with the hospital, Kirkham reported:
“Alfie isn’t dying or unstable he is growing, putting weight on, responding etc.
“He is not dying so Alder Hey do not have the right to remove his life from his parents or himself!!!”
Mr Evans went on to say that he asked Alder Hey if he could take Alfie home “to a suitable setting with the private facilities and team to let him die in his own time with no further escalation of treatment and we will never return to Alder Hey and we will buy the vent and pay for the team out of Alfie’s medical funds!!!
“We are being denied this!!!!! Alder Hey want Alfie dead and on their time scale with their plans!!! Whose son is he???
“Does he belong to the government or me and Kate???!!!”