Hospital wants to remove sick toddler’s life support as parents fight for treatment
LIVERPOOL, England, December 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The parents of 19-month-old Alfie Evans are fighting for him in court, arguing that they should be allowed to transfer their mysteriously sick toddler to another hospital. Alder Hey Children’s Hospital wants to yank Alfie’s life support against his parents’ wishes.
According to British media, the Vatican hospital that offered to help baby Charlie Gard earlier this year is willing to try to find out what’s wrong with Alfie, who has an undiagnosed disease. He’s in a coma and has seizures.
Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome would give Alfie “a tracheotomy and a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) to allow him to be fed through his stomach,” which is apparently treatment he hasn't been given at Alder Hey. The hospital wouldn't let Alfie be flown to Rome by a private air ambulance.
Alfie’s parents, Thomas Evans and Kate James, may reach an agreement with the hospital or have to continue their battle in court.
“The judge said he would make decisions on what was in Alfie's best interests if agreement could not be reached - and indicated that any trial would start in Liverpool on February 1,” according to The Telegraph.
The officials at Alder Hey won’t let Alfie “leave the hospital to go to [a] top children's hospital to reach a diagnosis and possible treatment and to stop his fits,” Evans told LifeSiteNews via email on December 7.
The Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust told LifeSiteNews via an emailed statement on December 8 that although they are “unable to comment on individual cases,” sometimes their doctors will disagree with parents about whether “continued active treatment” is best for a child who is “unable to recover from their illness.”
“There will be some rare situations where agreement cannot be reached and the treating team believe that continued active treatment is not in a child’s best interests,” the hospital told LifeSiteNews.
“In these cases the Trust will refer a case to the Family Division of the High Court and seek a determination as to the best interests of the child,” according to the Trust’s statement. “In all such cases we will also invite the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (CAFCASS) to consider the case and provide independent representation of the child.”
The judge, Mr. Justice Hayden, offered on December 19 to visit Alfie in the hospital.
Alfie will “show him he has got life,” his father said.
A Facebook group called Alfie’s Army is filled with videos and pictures of Alfie reacting positively to his parents touching him, opening his eyes, sucking on a pacifier, and stretching.
Alder Hey has previously come under public criticism over its organ harvesting practices. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, this scandal revealed that the hospital had “stockpiled” human organs. Alder Hey was investigated for removing and storing children's’ organs and bodies without their parents’ consent and “mistakenly” disposing of a dead three-year-old’s organs.
On January 26, 2001, Alder Hey admitted to “having given thymus glands removed from living children during heart operations to a pharmaceutical company in return for cash.”