Testifying at the appeals court today in the battle over Alfie Evans, doctors representing Alder Hey Children’s Hospital appear to have mislead the court.
According to a tweet from a journalist in the courtroom today, hospital doctors say they never told Alfie Evans’ family that he would die soon after removal of his life support. However representatives of the hospital told the court back in February that Alfie would die within minutes and that he probably would “suddenly” die after removal of life support because he would not be able to maintain his own breathing.
Despite their dire prediction back in February, Alfie continues to breathe on his own two days after the hospital yanked his life support without his parents permission.
As Ben Quinn, a reporter for the Guardian newspaper reported from the courtroom:
Hospital lawyer adds : #alfieevans parents were never told that death would be instantaneous. None of the clinicians know how long he will live
— Ben Quinn (@BenQuinn75) April 25, 2018
Lawyer for Hospital now on feet: ‘there is no new medical evidence, let alone compelling evidence, since February #alfieevans hearing’
— Ben Quinn (@BenQuinn75) April 25, 2018
Hospital legal team: “It was never suggested death would be instantaneous” #AlfieEvans
— Dan Whitehead (@danwnews) April 25, 2018
The claim that Alfie’s parents or the courts were “never told that death would be instantaneous” of even a quick death after life support removal is false. Back in February two doctors told the court Alfie would die quickly:
He said there would still be a risk that Alfie, currently in the hospital’s intensive care unit, could suddenly die.
The doctor added: “With time he will become more and more vulnerable. There are a significant number of problems which might ensue in the future.
“Regardless of the quality of care he is receiving, I expect he will suffer an increasing number of lower respiratory tract infections.
“He won’t be able to maintain his own breathing. He might just suddenly die.”
Another doctor told the court essentially the same thing about a fast death following removal of life support for Alfie:
A second doctor, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, was asked to outline the opposite scenario – if life support was stopped altogether.
She said Alfie may only be able to muster just a handful of breaths and survive just a few minutes if ventilation were completely stopped.
Mr Justice Hayden had asked her if it could be a matter of minutes, before telling the court: “What is contemplated is a death that could be quite quick.”
“Quite quick” and “might just suddenly die” are at odds with the claim that a fast death was never asserted — something an administrator of Alfie’s family’s Facebook page picked up on:
Officials at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital just kicked out two paramedics from the air ambulance and made them leave the premises after they were talking with Alfie’s parents. This is the latest example of the hospital’s lack of care and concern for the 23-month old boy who is dealing with a rare neurological condition.
Little Alfie Evans has survived for over 40 hours after a children’s hospital yanked his life support without his parents’ consent. That’s despite the prediction doctors made that Alfie wouldn’t live very long after his life support was removed.
Yesterday, 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.
Today, Alfie Evans’ father Tom Evans says his son’s still fighting and doing well 36 hours later.
He said: ‘He is doing as well as he can, he is fighting. I believe I am getting closer [to taking him home]. He hasn’t had any sign of pain and sustaining life like any other kid for the past 36 hours. It’s totally unexpected.”
“We were told he wouldn’t last five minutes but now here we are 36 hours down the line and he is doing absolutely amazing,” Evans continued in an interview on British television.
Attorney Paul Diamond, who is representing the family of Alfie Evans, yesterday 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 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.
Alfie’s parents have appealed that ruling to a British appeals court. Evans said they are appealing the ruling from the judge today banning Alfie from flying to Italy where a Pediatric Hospital has offered proper medical care and treatment as well as potential experimental treatment for his rare neurological condition.
Evans indicated that Alfie is not in any pain and hardly taking any drugs — and he disputed the claim that Alfie should not be able to travel to Italy because of potential seizures, saying that Alfie has not having any seizures and is not on any anti-seizure medication because there was no problem at this time.
Tom Evans also disputed the notion that somehow his family or supporters of his family are causing a disruption for Hospital staff that makes it so it would take three days to discharge Alfie from the hospital, as Alder Hey Children’s Hospital alleged in court today. He says the reality is that Alfie’s family and supporters are having a hard time getting into the hospital to see Alfie and support them because of an intense police presence, whereas hospital staff go in and out as they please.
Evans indicated he is very concerned about Alfie’s lack of food — saying that it has been almost 24 hours since he has had anything to eat and he is just receiving water and fluids. He is worried that hospital staff are attempting to starve Alfie to death in an attempt to prove their contention that Alfie was going to die very quickly after his removal from life support.
The judge in the controversial legal battle over the life and death of Alfie Evans has told the little boy’s parents that they are not able to take him home, for now. Essentially Justice Hayden considers Alfie’s parents a flight risk and worries they will leave the country with the 23-month old boy in tow. After a decision by Italy yesterday, Alfie now has Italian citizenship which should qualify him for being able 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 arrived today 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.
American supporters of Alfie Evans who have been wondering what they can do now have an opportunity to show their support publicly. Supporters of Alfie and his family will be gathering in Washington DC on Thursday at the British Embassy to hold a prayer vigil on their behalf.