The parents of little Alfie Evans are headed back to a European Court in a desperate attempt to save his life. Today the British Supreme Court denied their effort to stop the revocation of his life support, which would probably end his life.
The Supreme Court in the United Kingdom today decided that Alder Hey Children’s Hospital can be allowed to proceed with its decision to yank Alfie’s life support without their consent. Alfie’s parents had relied on a habeas corpus bid to get the court to agree with them that they have the right to withdraw Alfie from the hospital since they are his parents and legal guardians. However the British High Court disagreed with their contention today.
Alfie suffers from a rare neurological condition that is destroying his body and doctors at the Children’s Hospital say his condition is too far gone and so they want to withdraw his life support which could kill him. His parents say they have a hospital in Rome, Italy ready to take him to provide appropriate medical care and treatment that the Children’s Hospital is denying and possible treatment that could overcome his neurological disorder. But the Children’s Hospital refuses to allowAlfie’s parents to take him to Italy.
Now his parents are headed to the European Court of Human Rights after Britain’s Supreme Court sided with the Children’s Hospital that will terminate his life support over his parents objections.
On Monday Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano urged his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, to allow Alfie, who is suffering from an undiagnosed degenerative disease to be transferred to medical facilities in Rome.
Alfano asked for the parents’ request to be granted to take the boy to the hospital in the Italian capital, “medical facilities of a very high level that accept him in on the base of an agreement”.
He noted, however, that “Alfie is a British citizen and Italy respects the decisions made in the framework of British national jurisdiction” and that “the British national healthcare system and medical standards are among the highest in the world”.
Alfie’s parents have already been to the European Court of Human Rights and lost in their first attempt to save Alfie. They are hopeful the second attempt will yield better results.
After meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican, Alfie Evans’ father says the Vatican hospital is “ready to take Alfie immediately” and provide the care and treatment Alder Hey Children’s Hospital refuses to provide.
Tom Evans posted on the Alfie Army Facebook page to describe his time in Rome – where he met the Pope and the president of the Bambino Gesú hospital.
“The president of Bambino Gesú called me in for a meeting. She wants to take Alfie as soon as tomorrow and will do everything for him,” Evans explained. “Even if we find a diagnosis they will continue to search for a cure. She even wanted to come and meet him herself and still does. She was such a lovely woman and said they will do everything they can for Alfie as they would with any other.
“Pray hard this is Alfie’s step to his desperately needed transfer,” he said.
Evans also described what led to his trip to meet with Pope Francis.
He said: “Wow, what an emotionally exciting blessed 12 hours. I jumped on the plane at 11 last night [Tuesday] to Athens, got there for 4:50am, then took off at 6:05 to Rome to meet the Pope. Straight after interviews with various countries’ media – a lot of them. I spoke to the director of Vatican News, then was alerted the Pope had sent an urgent request to Bambino to take Alfie as soon as possible.”
Evans added: “Our child is sick, but not dying and does not deserve to die. He is not terminally ill nor diagnosed. We have been trying our best to find out his condition to treat or manage it.”
“I am now here in front of Your Holiness to plea for asylum, our hospitals in the UK do not want to give disabled children the chance of life and instead the hospitals in the UK are now assisting death in children. Alfie is not dying, so we do not want to take him out the way the hospital wish us to. We see life and potential in our son and we want to bring him here to Italy, at Bambino Gesú, where we know he is safe and he will not be euthanised.”
But it appears Alfie’s life is out of their control now.