The judge in the Alfie Evans case has officially prohibited his parents from flying the 23-month old boy to Rome Italy to take him to a pediatric hospital that has offered to provide appropriate medical care and treatment for him. Alfie’s parents had hoped to take the little boy to the hospital in order to potentially get treatment that could help his rare degenerative neurological condition.
Attorney Paul Diamond, who is representing the family of Alfie Evans, this afternoon argued that it is not in Alfie’s best interests to be left at Alder Hey Hospital and that he should instead be flown overseas – with an air ambulance already waiting and Italy also offering him a private jet.
But Justice Hayden today ruled that Alfie’s family would not be able to fly him to Italy for treatment and appeared to say that this was the final decision related to his case. He said flying Alfie to Italy could harm his health because, as court testimony indicated, the flight could trigger possible “continuous seizures due to stimulations” of the flight. But Alfie’s parents are concerned Alfie will die if he doesn’t get care and possible experimental treatment in Italy.
As a British newspaper reporter tweeted from the courtroom:
New: Alfie Evans family has lost its legal challenge to fly him to Italy for treatment in what judge calls the “final chapter in the case of this extraordinary little boy”
— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) April 24, 2018
There is still hope Alfie’s parents could at least take their son home.
Alfie’s parents have been fighting in court for months to have the legal right to decide the fate of their little boy. Judge Hayden is again considering the case now that Alfie has survived approximately 20 hours since officials at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital disconnected his life support and removed his oxygen. Because Alfie’s life support has been disconnected there is essentially no reason for him to stay at the hospital, which is not providing any additional care treatment or experimental treatments for his condition. That may be persuading the judge in the hearing right now to allow his parents to take him home.
If that happens, it may be days before they can get Alfie home.
During the hearing, Justice Hayden appeared to blame the parents for not being able to take Alfie home.
Justice Hayden, speaking to lawyers representing Alfie’s parents and Alder Hey Hospital, said: “If there were a more constructive attitude from the family might other options become possible, away from Alder Hey?”
If Tom and Kate Evans are allowed to take Alphie home the question then becomes whether or not they would have the legal right to take Alfie to Rome Italy where a hospital as waiting to provide him appropriate Medical Care and treatment as well as potential experimental treatment. After a decision by Italy yesterday, Alfie now has Italian citizenship which should qualify him for being able to leave the country. But the judge appears to have prohibited that, which could produce an international legal drama as Italian officials are demanding that their citizen be allowed to leave the country.
If Alfie can’t leave the UK, attorneys for his parents say they want Italian doctors to be able to come to Britain to evaluate and treat Alfie.
A spokeswoman for the Christian Legal Centre, which is assisting Tom Evans and Kate James, said they intended to ask the judge to consider allowing medical experts in Italy to examine Alfie.
She said medics at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool had stopped providing “ventilation support” to Alfie shortly after 9pm on Monday.
But she said Alfie continued to breathe independently.
She said: “Alfie has survived much longer than the doctors predicted, lending support to the request from Alfie’s parents for Alfie to be seen by medical experts in Italy
“An air ambulance is now waiting outside Alder Hey Hospital ready to take Alfie to hospital in Italy.”
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 20 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.
Today, a British doctors group, The Medical Ethics Alliance, expressed its horror over the treatment of Alfie Evans that it called a “medical tyranny.”
And Italy’s Healthcare Chief has slammed the decisions by UK courts to treat Alfie the way that they have. The President of the Italian National Institute of Health lambasted the UK High Court’s decision yesterday on Alfie Evans’ that resulted it the children’s hospital being allowed to remove life support over Alfie’s parents’ objections.
Alfie’s father confirmed the removal of life support and oxygen in a video at 9:17 p.m. London time. “Alfie’s still here and fighting,” he said.
Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken on Alfie’s behalf and urged that Alfie’s parents be allowed to bring him to Italy.