Alfie Evans captures world leaders’ attention as story of battle for life goes viral
April 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – With global attention toward 23-month-old Alfie Evans dramatically spiking in the past few days, lawmakers and other leaders from all over the world have begun speaking out for the child’s right to life. Alfie was removed from his ventilator on April 23 just after 9:00 PM, and his life now hangs in the balance.
Pope Francis, who has extended the Vatican’s support to the Evans family throughout the ordeal, most recently tweeted on Monday that he was “renew[ing] 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
Alfie has an unidentified neurodegenerative condition that Alder Hey Children’s Hospital claims is untreatable. His parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, are currently locked in a bitter legal battle against both the hospital and the UK court system, which have decided that Alfie must be left to die and cannot be transferred to another hospital.
"I think it's right to give Alfie another chance," European Union Parliament President Antonio Tajani said Tuesday. "There should be hope for this little European citizen, whose life every attempt should be made to save."
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Catholic Herald contributing editor Ed Condon lamented Wednesday that silence of most politicians within the United Kingdom on the subject “speaks volumes about how total is the level of institutional deference and how engrained the culture of death.” However, a few have spoken out.
English Member of the European Parliament Steven Woolfe, who has previously attempted to intervene on Alfie’s behalf, continues his vocal support. Yesterday, he challenged Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt for his silence and inaction in the case:
I have written to you twice for my constituent Alfie Evans voicing safety concerns. No response. When do I receive one?— Steven Woolfe MEP (@Steven_Woolfe) April 24, 2018
I defy anyone to watch this exchange between parents and son on the issue of saving his life and not feel cynical about politicians who keep their heads in the sand and hope the issue goes away. pic.twitter.com/t90laBgAnp— Steven Woolfe MEP (@Steven_Woolfe) April 24, 2018
Speaking for a delegation from the UK Independence Party (UKIP), party leader Gerard Batten forcefully denounced the British courts’ judgments against Alfie as “a gateway to totalitarianism.”
“The dismissal by the court of the wishes of Alfie’s parents, and the refusal to allow help by the cooperative Italian government is beyond the pale of human rationality and decency,” Batten continued. “We must call a stop to this, and give Alfie a chance to live in the arms of his parents.”
Another UK parliamentarian, Sir Edward Leigh, accused Alder Hey Children’s Hospital of “holding an Italian citizen hostage.” He called on Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson and the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office to “act quickly to let Alfie live.”
A UK hospital is holding an Italian citizen hostage and intends to deprive him of life-giving treatment against the wishes of his parents. @BorisJohnson & @foreignoffice must act quickly to let Alfie live. https://t.co/rJtMBGXhzs @ItalyinUK #AlfieEvans #AlfiesArmy— Sir Edward Leigh MP (@EdwardLeighMP) April 23, 2018
The Italian government granted Alfie Italian citizenship yesterday in hopes it would assist his transfer to Rome’s Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital, which has offered to treat him, and since then numerous Italian politicians have spoken out on his behalf.
Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano wrote a tweet Monday hoping that “being an Italian citizen will allow the child immediate transfer to Italy.”
CITTADINANZA ITALIANA AL PICCOLO ALFIE: I ministri Alfano e Minniti hanno concesso la cittadinanza italiana al piccolo #Alfie. In questo modo il governo italiano auspica "che l'essere cittadino italiano permetta, al bambino, l'immediato trasferimento in Italia". @Adnkronos— Angelino Alfano (@angealfa) April 23, 2018
"As a mother, I have no words to describe what I feel: the ‘ultra-civilised Europe, we live in has decided to kill an innocent boy and to stop his father and mother from doing whatever they can to keep him alive,” Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni, leader of the country’s Brothers of Italy party, declared.
“On these important issues, we understand - if anything were necessary - that it is not true that ideologies do not exist,” Italian Member of European Parliament Lorenzo Cesa said in a statement issued Tuesday. “There are those who defend life to the last and support Alfie's parents and there are those who are cynical and claim the right to determine the death, pulling the plug to a small European citizen that we, today, we want to defend. We stop ideologies that want to determine death.”
Elisabetta Gardini, who leads Italy’s Forza Italia party in the European Parliament, expressed pride that her country reached out to save the boy’s life. “In front of stories like Charlie and Alfie I'm happy to be Italian!” she tweeted.
#Alfie respira e continua la sua battaglia. E l’#Italia è il Paese che ha accolto lui e i suoi genitori, stando al loro fianco. È la forza dei nostri medici volati a Londra per offrire le loro cure. Di fronte a storie come quelle di Charlie e Alfie sono felice di essere italiana! pic.twitter.com/COCn16V7Vn— Elisabetta Gardini (@EGardini) April 25, 2018
Massimiliano Salini, Italian Member of European Parliament and former President of the Italian Province of Cremona, blasted the “blind obstinacy of those who want to end the existence of a patient,” and declared it “unacceptable” that the state could deem any life “useless.”
Questo bimbo è vivo dopo 11 ore senza macchine.Guardando alla forza incredibile e all’amore dei genitori del piccolo #Alfie contro l’ostinazione cieca di chi vuol porre fine all’esistenza di un paziente,non possiamo tacere: inaccettabile che uno Stato definisca «inutile» una vita pic.twitter.com/WsW8j6IM9e— Massimiliano Salini (@MaxSalini) April 24, 2018
On Wednesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda tweeted his own call to save Alfie’s life.
Alfie Evans must be saved! His brave little body has proved again that the miracle of life can be stronger than death. Perhaps all that's needed is some good will on the part of decision makers. Alfie, we pray for you and your recovery!— Andrzej Duda (@AndrzejDuda) April 25, 2018
Marijana Petir, who represents Croatia in the European Parliament, announced on Wednesday that she and several other MEPS have called on the European Commission to “act urgently” to protect Alfie and his parents’ rights. She added that the UK courts’ judgment was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.
I have joined my colleagues @EGardini @L_Cesa @MaxSalini @peterliese @comilara @TomZdechovsky @miromikolasik & @lojzepeterle in asking @EU_Commission 2act urgently 2ensure the rights of #AlfieEvans & his parents. UK court decision is contrary to #EU convention on human rights pic.twitter.com/t8UpNwrhtg— Marijana Petir (@marijana_petir) April 25, 2018
In the United States, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called Alfie’s plight “what happens when the government gets in complete control of the healthcare system.”
"There is no such thing as a disposable human being, as an expendable, worthless, human being,” Huckabee continued. “But that is the decision the British government has made."
Alfie's parents Tom and Kate are awaiting a decision from an appeal's court this afternoon in London regarding whether or not Alfie will be able to leave Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool and travel to a hospital in Rome.