The UK’s Court of Appeals will hear the case of Alfie Evans today following yesterday’s emergency High Court hearing that resulted in Evans being denied a medical transfer to Italy for further treatment. Despite an air ambulance waiting by the hospital, Alfie’ parents Tom and Kate were ordered to remain subject to the wishes of the medical teams at Alder Hey Children’s hospital.
Barrister for father asks court to “get out of judicial straight jacket” and get out of system where best interest means someone needs to die #AlfieEvans
— Dan Whitehead (@danwnews) April 25, 2018
Paul Diamond, the barrister representing Alfie’s father, Tom, told the judges: “We submit there is a likelihood of Alfie having some pleasure in life. That is beyond our knowledge.” But Lady Justice King of the Court of Appeals fundamentally rejected this claim responding: “That is not the evidence. The evidence is that he is unlikely to have pain, but that tragically everything that would allow him to have some appreciation of life, or even the mere touch of his mother, has been destroyed irrevocably.”
“The court of appeal have reached out to us and said they are going to set back three judges to hear the case,” Mr Evans told reporters outside hospital on Tuesday night. “In reality, he could be in Italy right now. We all know the military air force are ready to take him and a team of doctors are there.”
Evans added: “We’ve also got a German air ambulance team, who attempted to take him in the first place, ready… the reality is these people are eager to get him out of the country and I’m not giving up because Alfie’s breathing away, he’s not suffering.”
Speaking to ITV’s This Morning program, Evans explained how medics had left his son without food or water for a number of hours. “Doctors only just started feeding him at 1 o’clock yesterday,” he said. Alfie’s life support was switched off around 9 pm the previous evening.
“It’s disgusting how he’s being treated. Not even an animal would be treated like this,” Evans continued, before adding that the youngster was “proving” doctors wrong, saying: “I’m not happy with the way they’re just leaving him in there and not really pushing to continue to save his life.”
Some reports have also indicated that Tom Evans was forced to give Alfie mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to keep him breathing.
Around 150,000 people have now signed a petition urging the Queen of England to intervene. The petition reads:
“To Her Majesty in Parliament:
We the undersigned humbly petition Your Majesty for protection of life and liberty of your 23-months-old subject Alfie Evans.
The judges in Your Majesty’s Courts have given orders:
* to kill Alfie on an appointed hour at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool by withdrawing his life support;
* for the day and hour of that killing to be kept secret from the public to avoid any protest or hinderance; and
* for Alfie to be detained in Alder Hey until his death – any attempt to release him to be resisted by force, and punished by imprisonment.
These cruel orders are not authorised by any law ever passed in a democratic Parliament. Instead, the said judges pretend to exercise Your Majesty’s ancient autocratic jurisdiction over the life and death of your subjects.”
The petition appears to have been signed off by Thomas Evans, Alfie’s father.
In yesterday’s emergency hearing, Justice Hayden urged doctors to consider having Alfie moved home, but the medics present appeared concerned by this suggestion.
Alder Hey clinician, still in her work scrubs to appear at this emergency hearing, says moving patients home “does not happen overnight” and only after extensive consideration and discussion.
— Josh Halliday (@JoshHalliday) April 24, 2018
“An Alder Hey clinician, part of the team treating Alfie overnight, tells court the soonest they could move him home would be 3-5 days but that hostility to medics makes that “impossible” at present,” Guardian reporter Josh Halliday further noted.
This morning, Polish President Andrzej Duda tweeted out his personal support for the 23-month-old. “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!” he wrote.
In the latest update from the Alfie’s Army page, the youngster’s aunt, Sarah Evans, posted: “Please continue to pray Alfie is still fighting, I need a portable Bpap or CPAP at the hospital ASAP. Please”
These machines offer a non-invasive form of therapy for patients with breathing difficulties.
Speaking to ITV’s This Morning, Tom talked about the possibility of getting Alfie home. “I believe I am getting closer – Mr Diamond [the family’s barrister] did have some progress,” he said. “We would feel more blessed to get him to the Italian hospital.”