Pope Francis is once again speaking out on behalf of little Alfie Evans and his parents. In a tweet sent this afternoon he says that his parents ought to be heard and that their desire for additional treatment for their 23-monthold son ought to be allowed.
The head of the Catholic Church has spoken out multiple times previously on Alfie’s behalf as well as his parents and recently met with Alfie’s Father Tom Evans at the Vatican.
In his tweet today, Pope Francis said, “Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.”
Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 23, 2018
His tweet comes as the nation of Italy has granted citizenship to Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old little boy whose hospital is threatening to revoke his life support without his parents’ consent.
Italy’s decision would make it so Alfie’s parents could theoretically bring him to a hospital in Rome that has offered to provide appropriate medical care and treatment and to look at experimental treatments that could help his degenerative neurological condition. However, British courts have prevented Alfie’s parents from taking him there and a European Court of human rights has refused to intervene.
Previously, Pope Francis urged people worldwide to pray for Alfie as his parents continue to fight for his life.
The Pope was speaking to crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday for his weekly Regina Coeli address. Alfie Evans was among the causes the Pope requested prayers for, saying: “I entrust to your prayer persons such as Vincent Lambert in France, little Alfie Evans in England, and others in several countries who live, sometimes for a long time, in a state of grave illness, assisted medically for their primary needs.”
Francis acknowledged the “delicate”, “painful” and “complex” situations surrounding these cases and asked that the sick are always treated “with great respect for life…with the harmonious contribution of the family, of doctors and of other health workers”.
On Sunday the pontiff also prayed for Vincent Lambert, a 42-year-old Frenchman who has been disabled for 10 years. His hospital recently ordered the removal of his food and water, against the wishes of his parents and the advice of other doctors.
Before that, Pope Francis sent out a tweet supporting Alfie. He 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.”
After the decision, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the children’s hospital and some of them attempted to storm it to rescue Alfie.
The decision of the European Court of Human Rights essentially means that a judge’s decision allowing Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to remove Alfie’s life support over his parents’ wishes will move forward — potentially as soon as this week. The expectation is that once Alfie’s life support is removed he will probably die — instead of givng him time to perhaps receive experimental treatments to help his very rare neurological disorder.
His parents have been fighting to get appropriate Medical Care and treatment at a different hospital and they say that one in Rome Italy has offered to take him to provide care as well as looking at potential treatment that could possibly save his life.
A ECHR spokesman said on Monday: “The European court of human rights has rejected the application submitted by the family of Alfie Evans as inadmissible.”
This was the second time Alfie’s parents lost at the European Court. This time they argued that Alfie is being wrongly ‘detained’ at Alder Hey and made a habeas corpus application. A writ of habeas corpus – Latin for ‘you may have the body’ – is a legal maneuver which requires a court to examine the legality of a detention.
On Friday, the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom 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 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.
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.