World watches as Alfie Evans’ life hangs in the balance
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April 30, 10:45 AM ET:
This live updates feed is now closed. Thanks for tuning in. Please continue to pray for Tom and Kate and the rest of the family.
April 29, 7:45 AM ET:
Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Vatican's most senior liturgy official, has paid his respect to Alfie by quoting French doctor Jérôme Lejeune who discovered the link of diseases to chromosome abnormalities.
"'The quality of a civilization is measured by the respect it has for the weakest of its members.' Professor Jérôme Lejeune," tweeted the Cardinal along with a photo of Alfie.
« La qualità di una civiltà è misurata dal rispetto che ha per i più deboli dei suoi membri. »— Cardinal R. Sarah (@Card_R_Sarah) April 28, 2018
Professor Jérôme Lejeune pic.twitter.com/zVEDBTCIfL
April 28, 11:20 AM ET:
Pope Francis has tweeted consolation to Tom and Kate.
"I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace," he wrote.
I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 28, 2018
April 28, 8:25 AM ET:
Beautiful words of hope from Dr. Robert Moynihan:
In the press in Italy this morning, the first reports led with these words: "Alfie did not make it home."
But that is not true.
Alfie did make it home.
And before he left us, and ended his exile here, he taught us all to commit ourselves to life.
May Alfie rest now forever in peace.
May eternal light shine upon him.
April 28, 8:20 AM ET:
A balloon release for Alfie is planned at Alder Hey hospital at 2:30 PM today, local time. Sarah Evans, an Administrator on Alfie's Army Facebook page, is inviting supporters to attend.
"Army members, for those of you who can be there at 2:30 for balloon release, please, it has to be peaceful," she posted.
April 28, 8:10 AM ET:
It seems entirely appropriate and no coincidence that #AlfieEvans went to Jesus on the feast day of St Gianna Molla, another pro-life Saint. He will be crowned in glory.— Caroline Farrow (@CF_Farrow) April 28, 2018
April 28, 7:00 AM ET:
Alfie Evans died overnight in a Liverpool children’s hospital at 2:30 a.m. local time.
His mother Kate James informed well-wishers of the boy’s death by posting a message on the “Alfie’s Army Official” Facebook page.
“Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 am,” the young mother wrote. “We are heart broken. Thank you everyone for all your support.”
Read report: Alfie Evans has died
April 27, 8:00 PM ET:
Alfie has now been breathing on his own for 100 hours. Let us continue to keep him, Tom, and Kate in our thoughts and prayers. Good night to all! We will provide only the most crucial updates on this webpage during the weekend.
April 27, 6:50 PM ET:
Prayer vigil for Alfie continutes for third night in Rome.
April 27, 5:25 PM ET:
Italy’s most recognized pro-life voice told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview that if laws do not change quickly to help babies like Alfie Evans, “infanticide will become the norm.”
“We are living in these past few days the case of little Alfie: We must be well aware that if we do not react now, infanticide will become the norm,” said Virginia Coda Nunziante, President of Associazione Famiglia Domani. Nunziante is the country’s leading pro-life voice who has mobilized Italians to stand up for life amid the country’s increasingly secularized culture.
April 27, 4:25 PM ET:
This just in from Alfie's Army Facebook page:
April 27, 3:45 PM ET:
Heather Nauert, Spokesperson for the United States Department of State, tweeted support yesterday for Alfie and his family. The whole world continues to watch.
Our hearts and prayers are with brave #Alfie Evans, his family and friends. We understand the last few months have been difficult for them. We respect British law but we also appreciate Italy’s efforts to fulfill the family’s wishes.— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) April 26, 2018
April 27, 3:15 PM ET:
The director of the Vatican-run hospital that had offered to treat Alfie Evans is accusing those holding the 23-month-old boy in the United Kingdom of doing so for ideological motives.
“I suspect [Judge Anthony Hayden’s denial of Alfie’s transfer] responds to an ideological battle and that the decision does not respond strictly to legal reasons,” Mariella Enoc, director of Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, told the Spanish paper ABC.
April 27, 2:25 PM ET:
Prayers for Alfie continue to come from far and wide.
EWTN have said a Rosary for Alfie after their televised Daily Mass. This is unprecedented. God bless them.— Sandra Sleigh (@SandraSleigh) April 27, 2018
April 27, 1:45 PM ET:
A leading German pediatrician is saying that the way the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is dealing with disabled toddler Alfie Evans and his parents would never happen in his country given its history with the Nazi regime.
“We have learned in Germany because of our history, that there are things that you do not do with severely disabled patients,” Professor Nikolaus Haas, head of the Child Cardiology and Pediatric Intensive Medicine Unit at Munich University Hospital, told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper in an April 26 article.
April 27, 12:25 PM ET:
Nigel Farage, one of the United Kingdom’s leading conservative voices has lent his support to 23-month-old Alfie Evans.
Former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage spoke with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham Thursday evening, and excoriated British and European courts for taking away Tom Evans and Kate James’ parental rights.
“Any parent in the world who’s got a child that’s sick would move heaven and earth if somebody else could offer them a different treatment,” he said. “And yet what happens here is, our state-run medical system decides there is nothing else that can be done, and backed up by the state courts, they make a decision that those parents are not fit to move their child somewhere else.”
April 27, 11:20 AM ET:
The Christian Legal Centre has released a statement regarding its involvement in Alfie Evans' case. They are defending themselves against comments made by a judge and from criticism in the way case was handled.
"Again, we underline that our driving concern throughout our short involvement in this case has been to contend for little Alfie’s bests interests and to serve his parents," they write.
"Having reviewed the case with Mr Evans, we believed that Alfie’s ‘best interests’ would be served not by allowing him to die but by respecting his parents’ wish to take advantage of the excellent medical care being offered to Alfie by three other European hospitals."
The statement is published below in full:
Statement on Christian Legal Centre's involvement in Alfie Evans case
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, has issued the following statement in response to errors of fact in the reporting of the case of Alfie Evans:
“For the best part of a year, Tom Evans and his partner Kate James have been striving to preserve little Alfie’s life.
During this time, a large number of different advisers have been involved.
The Christian Legal Centre, however, has only been assisting Mr Evans and Ms James for less than a month. Many of the important court hearings happened before this time.
Before our involvement, for example, Mr Evans and Ms James were represented by the eminent QC Stephen Knafler who argued this case to the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Sadly, Mr Knafler and his legal team were not successful.
We believe that a particularly important event for the future direction of this case occurred in February 2018 – again, before our involvement.
It was in February that the crucial ‘fact finding’ hearing took place, where the medical evidence and alternative treatments were considered by Mr Justice Hayden.
Significantly, at this hearing, Mr Evans and Ms James had no legal representation.
In our view this lack of representation, especially in such a complex ‘life and death’ matter had major repercussions for the future outworking of the case.
It was at this hearing that the court found that it was in Alfie’s ‘best interests’ to have treatment withdrawn and to be allowed to die.
Once this hearing had established this ‘fact’, future legal options were already limited since appeals can only be made on the basis of law, not on challenging ‘facts’.
Having already lost appeals to the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights, Mr Evans contacted the Christian Legal Centre in early April – under a month ago.
Since then, we have sought to serve Mr Evans and Ms James. Our highest concern has always been Alfie’s best interests. We have offered our services entirely pro bono, and members of our team have worked tirelessly, laying aside other commitments.
Having reviewed the case with Mr Evans, we believed that Alfie’s ‘best interests’ would be served not by allowing him to die but by respecting his parents’ wish to take advantage of the excellent medical care being offered to Alfie by three other European hospitals.
Given the stage of the case at which our involvement was requested by Alfie’s parents, the legal options available were limited.
We sought to issue a writ of habeas corpus on the point of the law that Alfie should not be detained in a hospital that no longer intended to treat him or offer life support – especially when another suitably-qualified hospital was prepared to provide ongoing care for him, and the child’s parents wished for this transfer to happen.
In the short period of our involvement, our highly experienced Standing Counsel Paul Diamond took the case from the High Court to the Court of Appeal, to the Supreme Court, and to the European Court – and then back again to the High Court and to the Court of Appeal. We can think of no other organisation that would have achieved this in such a short period.
Our focus has been the legal case but we note that during this period, Alfie secured Italian citizenship, an intervention from the Pope and the offer of a military air ambulance.
We also recognise that Alfie’s plight has attracted widespread public and media interest. Many individuals and groups have offered comment, and some have engaged in various campaigns such as Alfie’s Army. These campaigns and communications were not ours – our focus was the legal case.
In recent days, in addition to significant support we have endured some media and judicial criticism. We consider this unfair and detrimental.
We reject the prejudicial and inflammatory comments made by Mr Justice Hayden. We also reject the portrayal by the Court of Appeal of our role in this case and the assistance that we have offered to Mr Evans.
There have also been factual inaccuracies in some media reporting, especially about the extent and starting point of our involvement.
We also wish to make clear that we do not support the criminal prosecution of doctors involved in Alfie’s care.
Again, we underline that our driving concern throughout our short involvement in this case has been to contend for little Alfie’s bests interests and to serve his parents.
We continue to believe that Alfie is not best served by holding him, against his parents’ wishes, in a hospital where he will be allowed to die, when another hospital is willing to offer him ongoing medical care, with minimal risk.
At this difficult time, we ask everyone to respect the privacy of Mr Evans, Ms James and Alfie Evans. We entrust Alfie to the kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the gift of life and the freedom of parents."
April 27, 11:00 AM ET:
Lord David Alton of Liverpool is calling for a change in British law to favor more parental rights in a child's medical decision.
"I am not alone in believing that when British law can displace the rights of parents then British law must be changed. I said exactly that at the time of the death of Charlie Gard and repeat it again now as little Alfie Evans battles for life,"
he posted on Facebook.
"The earlier case of Ashya King graphically illustrated that experts can get things wrong - but, even more importantly, every parent has a fundamental right - and I would say duty- to fight for and care for the child to whom they gave life. Alfie is today still fighting for his life despite extubation, beyond the expectations of the team treating him. As the relationship between the hospital and Alfie’s family has clearly broken down, their request to take Alfie to another hospital seems unarguable. So is the case for changing the law to give parents the definitive last word in such cases?"
April 27, 10:35 AM ET:
In light of Alder Hey Hospital's treatment of Alfie, the parents of Charlie Gard have praised Alfie Evans’ parents this morning and voiced support to a change in the laws regarding parental wishes in medical care.
Like Alfie Evans, the late Charlie Gard was an infant whose parents were unsuccessful in having him transferred to a hospital outside the United Kingdom for continued treatment. He died last July at the age of 11 months.
Today Connie Yates, Charlie’s mother said, “For those who have not been in a situation like this, it is impossible to understand the pain Tom and Kate are going through.”
April 26, 9:55 PM ET:
Alfie Evans has now been breathing on his own 77 hours since his ventilator was removed. Let us keep him and his family in our prayers as they walk through this valley of the shadow of death. Good night Alfie, Tom, and Kate!
April 26, 3:40 PM ET:
Some Alfie supporters say that while reading the prepared statement, Tom looks as if he is reading a hostage note under duress.
Some have noticed how the statement Tom read has some of the same keywords as the statement released yesterday by Alder Hey regarding Alfie Evans.
In the statement, the hospital declared that it would “maintain our focus on safeguarding Alfie's comfort, dignity and privacy, which remains our first priority."
Tom read in his letter that he will work with his son's "treating team on a plan that provides our boy with the dignity and comfort he needs."
Both statements used the words "dignity" and "comfort" in relation to Alfie's care.
April 26, 1:50 PM ET:
Alfie's dad Tom has just made a statement asking supporters to "return back to your everyday lives and allow myself, Kate and Alder Hey to form a relationship, build a bridge and walk across it."
Here is his full statement:
I wish to make a statement on behalf of myself and Kate.
Our lives have been turned upside down by the intense focus on Alfie and his situation.
Our little family, along with Alder Hey, has become the centre of attention for many people around the world and it has meant we have not been able to live our lives as we would like.
We are very grateful and we appreciate all the support we have received from around the world, including form our Italian and Polish supporters, who have dedicated their time and support to our incredible fight.
We would now ask you to return back to your everyday lives and allow myself, Kate and Alder Hey to form a relationship, build a bridge and walk across it.
We also wish to thank Alder Hey staff at every level for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly difficult time for them too.
Together we recognise the strains recent events have put upon us all, and we now wish for privacy for everyone concerned.
In Alfie's interests we will work with his treating team on a plan that provides our boy with the dignity and comfort he needs.
From this point onwards there will be no more statements issued, or interviews given.
We hope you respect this.
April 26, 12:25 PM ET:
Video of today's protest at the British embassy in Washington D.C. for Alfie Evans.
April 26, 12:10 PM ET:
A UK politician is launching a campaign today on behalf of baby Alfie Evans to change the country's law to help parents maintain control over the medical care of their children.
Called the ‘Alfie’s Law’ campaign, British Member of European Parliament Steven Woolfe along with the group "Parliament Street" hopes to stop parents being "sidelined" during the care of their sick children at government-funded hospitals.
MEP Woolfe will launch the campaign outside the Houses of Parliament at 4:30 PM today.
“Parents are being side-lined in the care of their children, in what are highly complicated moral decisions,” said a spokesman for the group. “We strongly believe it is time for a change in the law to re-empower parents to have a say in the treatment of their children. We know that MPs have the power to change this to help children and their parents in future, and call on them to address this.”
April 26, 10:50 AM ET:
An international legal team representing Alfie is now attempting to change the jurisdiction of the toddler's case, transferring from the UK to Italy. The news comes on the heels of Alfie becoming an Italian citizen this week. Yesterday, a three-judge panel again ruled that Alfie cannot travel to Rome for treatment.
"The family has accepted the proposal of the international juridical team and an appeal has been lodged to the Italian Judge. If jurisdiction issues were to take place, the European Court of Justice would have to comment on this," states a press release by Steadfast Onlus.
April 26, 8:15 AM ET:
A Polish doctor has stated that Alfie is not “dying” and is certainly not “brain-dead.”
Dr. Izabela Pałgan, a pediatrician and children’s oncologist from Bydgoszcz in Poland, told Radio Wnet yesterday that in her professional opinion, doctors at Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool where Alfie is being kept are misdiagnosing the boy.
“Doctors at the hospital in Liverpool asked the court to agree to the separation of the infant from life-support, on the grounds that it would be in the 'best interests' of the child. The infant is not a dying child. He is not brain-dead,” she said, as reported by Polish news portal Fronda.pl.
Pałgan said that Alfie’s brain scans do not show that he is in a “terminal state.” They do not, for example, show the state of his brain stem, she said.
“The child reacts to the voice of his father, he periodically opens his eyes, he tightens his mouth around his soother. The parents insist that he is making contact with them,” she added.
April 26, 6:55 AM ET:
Alfie continues to live. It’s been about 62 hours since he was removed from his ventilator on April 23 just after 9:00 PM.
Alfie’s dad Tom told press this morning that he will meet with Alder Hey doctors to discuss taking his son home.
He indicated that yesterday’s court battle might be the last one. A panel of three judges upheld previous rulings forbidding the family from taking their son for treatment in Italy.
“We got rejected yesterday to go to Italy unfortunately. We could take it further but would that be the right thing to do, would there be more criticism?” Tom told reporters.
“So what we do today is we have a meeting with the doctors at Alder Hey and we now start asking to go home,” he continued.
“Alfie doesn’t need intensive care any more. Alfie is lying on the bed with one liter of oxygen going into his lungs and the rest is him. Some people say it’s a miracle, it’s not a miracle, it’s a misdiagnosis,” he said.
April 25, 10:00 PM ET:
We will continue our live updates in the morning. Good night Alfie. You and your family our in our hearts and in our prayers.
April 25, 9:10 PM ET:
Alfie's mom Kate just shared this beautiful photo of her son, who appears to have a hint of a smile on his face, on Facebook, saying "how gorgeous is this boy tho."
April 25, 6:45 PM ET:
Alfie's mom Kate releases video of her boy breathing on his own. "My whole entire world I love you so much baby boy," she posted to Facebook.
April 25, 4:50 PM ET:
It has now been more than 48 hours since Alife was removed from his ventilator and started breathing on his own.
April 25, 4:45 PM ET:
In a strongly worded letter, Alder Hey Hospital has made it clear that preserving Alfie's life is not their top priority.
Sir David Henshaw and Louise Shepherd CBE, one the chairman and the other the chief executive of the trust, wrote about how Alfie's Army has disturbed their work.
"We are truly grateful to Merseyside Police for their unstinting support. This has helped us maintain our focus on safeguarding Alfie's comfort, dignity and privacy, which remains our first priority."
They did not mention anything about safeguarding Alfie's life as one of their priorities.
Their full letter is published below:
Open Letter from Sir David Henshaw and Louise Shepherd CBE
25th April 2018
Alfie Evans has deeply affected us all at Alder Hey.
There isn't one member of our staff untouched by his desperate story, the facts of the case and the publicity surrounding it.
All of us feel deeply for Alfie and his whole family and we continue to do everything we can to support them as best we can, just as we have for the last 17 months.
Yet, in the last two weeks, we have found ourselves at the centre of a social media storm that has included many untrue statements about our work and the motivations of our staff. This has led to often inappropriate interventions from a range of external bodies and individuals, some of which have caused significant disruption to our children, families and staff.
As a leading children's healthcare provider, described by Justice Hayden, who heard the detailed evidence in Alfie's case, as providing care that "can only be properly characterised as world class", we share the heartbreak that occurs when a child cannot be cured and when a child dies.
Our expert professional and compassionate clinical teams always work closely with parents and families in these difficult and distressing circumstances to provide support and comfort in a way that is sensitive to their needs.
Our nursing, medical and support staff come into work each day at Alder Hey determined to do the best for our patients and those who care for them.
Mr Justice Hayden has also commented upon the "diligent professionalism of some truly remarkable doctors and the warm and compassionate energy of the nurses whose concern and compassion is almost tangible".
Unfortunately, these same remarkable staff have recently been the target of unprecedented personal abuse that has been hard to bear.
As an organisation, we have endured attacks upon our motivation, our professionalism and our ethics. It has been a very difficult time.
Having to carry on our usual day-to-day work in a hospital that has required a significant police presence just to keep our patients, staff and visitors safe is completely unacceptable.
Our staff have received in person, via phone calls, email, and through social media channels a barrage of highly abusive and threatening language and behaviour that has shocked us all. Worse still, patients and visitors to Alder Hey have also reported abuse.
We are truly grateful to Merseyside Police for their unstinting support. This has helped us maintain our focus on safeguarding Alfie's comfort, dignity and privacy, which remains our first priority.
We have also been sustained by the huge warmth and support we have received from across Liverpool and beyond.
Many, many families in Liverpool and the wider region have shared with us just how much they have been touched personally by the care they have received from Alder Hey.
Their stories have reassured us that the vast majority of people would agree with Justice Hayden, that the care that we provide, day in day out, is truly outstanding.
They know that we will always try to do our best for children. We hope that the special work of Alder Hey, and the special people who do it, will continue to be supported at this difficult time.
For that and on behalf of us all at Alder Hey, we wish to express our sincere thanks.
Sir David Henshaw, Louise Shepherd CBE
Chairman, Chief Executive
April 25, 2:20 PM ET:
The judge has also ruled against the mom's appeal. Both parents' appeals have now been dismissed.
April 25, 2:00 PM ET:
The judge is now ruling on an appeal made separately by Kate James, Alfie's mom.
April 25, 1:50 PM ET:
The most recent appeal has been rejected. Alfie is not permitted to go to Itlay.
April 25, 1:45 PM ET:
Alfie's mom Kate James calls Alder Hey Hospital's lawyers "liers" in a Facebook post for telling the judges that it was never suggested that Alfie's death would be spontaneous once his ventilator was removed.
April 25, 1:20 PM ET:
Decision coming soon.
April 25, 1:05 PM ET:
April 25, 12:30 PM ET:
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. These include Pope Francis, Polish President Andrzej Duda, Marijana Petir, who represents Croatia in the European Parliament, and many others.
April 25, 12:20 PM ET:
Alder Hey hospital's legal team now has the floor in the courtroom. They say that Alfie breathing on his own after being removed from the ventilator is “not a change in circumstances.” They also are claiming that it was “never suggested death would be instantaneous" when Alfie was removed from his ventilator two nights ago.
April 25, 12:15 PM ET:
Alfie's dad Tom is pleading with the Court via a Facebook post to "save" his son. The dad said that he has had no sleep for three days while fighting for his son's life.
"No sleep for three days no[t]hing but torture and deprivation. Our boy continues to fight with no suffering or indication of pain coming up to 2 DAYS," he wrote.
"NOW PLEASE SAVR [sic] OUR SON YOUR LORDSHIPS."
April 25, 11:30 AM ET:
The court case continues. Lawyer for Alfie Evans' mom Kate says that Alfie surviving after being removed from his ventilator and his being granted Italian citizenship should have some bearing on the case.
Lord Justice McFarlane said that "the only determining factor is the best interests of Alfie.”
“What rights others have, particularly the parents, falls into a subsidiary category,” he added.
April 25, 11:00 AM EST:
Lawyer for Alfie Evans' mom Kate tells the judges that Alfie is defying expectations. He said it was expected that Alfie would die relatively quickly once the ventilator was removed. "He hasn’t, he’s continued to breathe for a substantial period.”
April 25, 10:48 AM EST:
Mr. Diamond, the legal representative for Tom Evans, is now questioning the standing of a previous court ruling on Alfie, saying that circumstances have now changed with the boy breathing on his own. He said that the family should “not be bound by a decision which is now three months old.”
“The parents have been offered accommodation, the pope has set aside a hospital and the aircraft is going to be military with top level surgeons. These were not factors in February’s hearing.”
April 25, 10:35 AM EST:
April 25, 10:30 AM EST:
Alfie's parents Tom and Kate appear to have two different legal representations. Kate's legal team told the judges that Alder Hey hospital must take necessary steps to maintain Alfie's life today, adding that he needs “immediate intervention.”
The court heard that offer of assistance from the Italian government is “a very real Plan B” and that “it will be a specialist medical team supporting him.”
April 25, 9:55 AM EST:
April 25, 9:50 AM EST:
Three Justices, McFarlane, Coulson, and King will hear the appeal regarding yesterday's High Court decision forbidding Alfie from traveling to Rome for treatement.
Lord Justice McFarlane will become in July the new president of the Family Division of the High Court. He is the second most senior family court judge in England and Wales.
April 25, 9:11 AM EST:
The appeal court proceedings were to have begun at 2:00 PM local time, but have now been delayed.
April 25, 8:30 AM EST:
Tom Evans confirms in a new video from this morning that Alfie is stable and is receiving oxygen, nutrition, and hydration.
April 25, 8:10 AM EST:
Speaking outside Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool this morning, Thomas Evans confirmed Alfie is now receiving nourishment but said “they only started feeding him at 1AM” last night.
“It’s disgusting how he’s being treated. Not even an animal would be treated this way,” the toddler’s father said.
Evans said “Alfie is doing still as well as he can. He’s fighting,” adding that the child is not suffering or in pain.
“I believe I am getting closer [to getting him home]. We would be happy with that. But we would be more blessed to get him to Italy where he needs the treatment,” Evans said.
Vowing to keep fighting for his son, he said: “We were told he wouldn’t last five minutes and here we are 36 hours later.”
April 25, 7:55 AM EST:
Alfie has survived another night, but is starting to fail. At one point last night, the family sent a request through social media for anyone to bring to Alder Hey hospital a resuscitation mask. This may mean Alfie's oxygen was removed. Sources close to the situation report that the toddler's lips were going blue and he was developing a chest infection.
There is a new appeal in London this afternoon at 2:00 PM local time.
April 24, 8:20 PM EST:
In a dramatic statement to media outside the Alder Hey hospital this evening, Alfie’s father Tom Evans showed resolve amidst grief and righteous anger at the hospital’s decision to refuse to allow the parents to take baby Alfie to Italy where he has been offered hospital care. An emergency appeal of the recent ruling forbidding the couple to take their son to Italy has been granted.
Exhausted and haggard, Evans said that Alfie’s 22 hours of breathing on his own after the ventilator was removed has surprised but also frustrated doctors who he says want the child dead. Evans reveals that he had to fight for six hours to get the hospital to allow Alfie hydration but they have refused to allow the child nutrition.
“They don’t want to see him come out of it, they want him to die, they want him to deteriorate in the next couple of hours so then they can say ‘oh look we told you’, but in fact in reality I stood in the court case and they told me he wouldn’t last longer than five minutes, he’s lasted 22 hours,” Evans said.
Describing his disgust with the attempt to starve his son he said: “It’s disgusting how they treating us, they're starving him, they wouldn’t do this to an animal.”
April 24, 4:12 PM EST:
Alder Hey Children's hospital says that after today's ruling, it will continue Alfie's "end of life care plan."
April 24, 3:15 PM EST:
Alfie is now approaching 24 hours since being removed from his ventilator. Tom says his son is still fighting, but he needs food.
"Coming up to 24 hours and he’s fighting with gorgeous his gorgeous features, pink lips, handsome grown up face, and odd cheeky smile now and again," Tom wrote on a Facebook post moments ago.
"HE HAS NOW BEEN STARVED FROM NUTRITION FOR 23 hours. How is this HUMANE where does his DIGNITY LIE," he added.
April 24, 2:20 PM EST:
April 24, 1:50 PM EST:
April 24, 12:30 PM EST:
The Courtroom has risen while Alder Hey's legal team considers the point about letting Alfie return to his home.
April 24, 12:25 PM EST:
A journalist in the Court is reporting that the parents may be able to take Alife home, but not to Italy.
April 24, 12:05 PM EST:
The Italian Council of Ministers has now officially approved the conferral of Italian citizenship to Alfie Evans. This happened at a meeting that convened at 15.12 at Palazzo Chigi, under the chairmanship of President Paolo Gentiloni.
The ministers approved Alfie's Italian citizenship "in consideration of the exceptional interest for the national community to ensure further therapeutic developments for the minor, in the protection of pre-eminent humanitarian values that, in this case, concern the protection of health."
April 24, 11:45 AM EST:
Now the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health is speaking out in support of Alder Hey hospital, seemingly in response to the Medical Ethics Alliance condemning the hospital's "medical tyranny" in the care of Alfie Evans.
"As healthcare professionals involved in the care of babies, children and young people, the priority has to be the child. Every action and decisions is taken in the best interests of the child, and decisions on care, including the withdrawal of treatment, are always made with the involvement of parents," states Professor Russell Viner, President, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, in a press release.
Viner defended the hospital's decision to removal Alfie's ventilator.
However, we feel it is important for the public to know that decisions to withhold or withdraw treatment from a child are not made lightly. In the UK we are fortunate to have a clear and compassionate framework to guide practice which includes three key sets of circumstances when withdrawing life-sustaining treatment may be considered. These are:
- If treatment is unable or unlikely to result in the child living much longer
- Where treatment may prolong life but will cause the child unacceptable pain and suffering
- If an older child with a life limiting illness repeatedly makes it clear they do not want treatment and this decision is supported by their parents and doctors.
He said in the "vast majority of cases an equal decision is made to withdraw treatment and it is rare that there is disagreement."
April 24, 11:20 AM EST:
The 3:30 PM (London time) hearing for Alfie was delayed by half-an-hour.
April 24, 10:40 AM EST:
The Court hearing in Manchester has now begun. Family members are attending the hearing, a spokesperson for the Alfie’s Army Facebook group confirmed.
April 24, 10:25 AM EST:
Member of Parliament Steven Woolfe uses Facebook's live stream service to show his support for Alfie. "This is a fight we have to continue," he said.
April 24, 10:15 AM EST:
U.K. doctors from the Medical Ethics Alliance have expressed their horror over Alder Hey’s "medical tyranny." They demand Alfie be sent to Rome and say the hospital has brought themselves into disrepute.
We are deeply concerned and outraged by the treatment and care offered to Alfie Evans. Wanting to withdraw treatment so that he will die, the medical authorities have taken Alfie to the High Court," the five doctors state in a press release.
"Medical tyranny must stop. Poor Alfie must not be killed in this way. We demand that the authorities to allow Alfie safe passage to Rome," they add.
The doctors demand that the GMC "investigate the actions of doctors" providing Alfie's care.
April 24, 10:10 AM EST:
Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, says: "It is right to give Alfie another chance in Italy." He also tweeted his support for the baby.
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