As the parents of Alfie Evans ask their vast army of supporters to “stand down,” one British politician is seeking to introduce a law that would grant parents more of a say in the fate of their child. The UK courts have repeatedly ruled that 23-month-old Alfie Evans be taken off life support, arguing that any further medical treatment is “futile.”
“Alfie’s case is not isolated. It follows a pattern where the NHS and the Court, both arms of the state, proceed as a juggernaut to crush dissent and to refuse be open their minds let alone their hearts to new evidence,” MEP Stephen Woolfe posted on his Facebook page. “It is regularly happening across the UK.”
Woolfe gave several examples of cases in which the UK courts have decided that lives are not worth continuing and must be ended immediately. “Vincent Lambert, Charlie Gard, Eluana Englaro, Charlotte Wyatt and of course Ayesha King are just a few cases where the state has ordered termination of life,” he added. Now, he says, it is time for change. It is time for the introduction of “Alfie’s Law.”
As is the case with Alfie Evans, such terminations at the hands of the state, he says, displays “a dangerous trend of public bodies depriving parents and families of the right to make decisions they believe are in the best interests of their children.” Woolfe believes that “parents’ rights should neither be ignored nor dismissed as irrelevant by hospitals and courts, who believe they know best and have the power, money and resources to overwhelm families who simply want to save their child.”
“We demand a change in the law to restore the rights of parents in such decisions,” he added in his statement, as reported by ITV News.
“All parents should be allowed an independent advocate to defend their case with the right legal and medical expertise and financial equality of arms.Now is the time to act. We cannot have another baby, another family, have to go through the struggle and torment the Evans family have. It’s time for Alfie’s Law.
– STEVEN WOOLFE MEP”
Woolfe further argued that British hospitals are endowed with too much power, citing the presence of “institutional arrogance” and adding that the UK sees itself as the “self-proclaimed status of all knowledge and care.”
“They can do no wrong,” he said.
Woolfe is keen to make one point absolutely clear: they can make mistakes. “Hospitals are not omnipotent,” he declared, before highlighting the clear errors made in the medical assessment of Alfie Evans:
“What of Alfie? In February the courts were told once life support was removed he would die in a few minutes or short time. But he hasn’t. This brave brave boy has been breathing on his own for nearly 3 days. As in Aysha King and Charlotte Wyatt, could the hospital and court be wrong?”
In his lengthy Facebook post, Woolfe argued that Britain has disgraced itself in its handling of the Alfie Evans case, as the courts have continued to double down on their rulings despite mounting international pressure.
“The Polish Prime Minister, Italian Prime Minister, the Pope, politicians across the globe have begged the hospital to reconsider,” he wrote. “The Italian government gave Alfie citizenship and sentAmbassadoriall assistance to the courts. The legal establishment doubled down and criticised their interference and called a legal assistant a fanatic. Yet the Italian Head of healthcare Walter Ricciardi said “the way my English colleagues often deal with situations like this is inhumane.””
Woolfe said it was utterly outrageous that those in support of Alfie’s family have been urged to “calm down,” adding that this “hard working” Liverpudlian community only shouts “when no one listens to them speak.”
Woolfe, who is a former barrister, delved deeper into his proposal for a law named after little Alfie. “Alfie’s Law” would require the parents defending their child’s life before the state to be granted “equality of arms, namely a fully-funded legal team with access to medical and legal expertise, as the NHS now enjoys without any scrutiny.”
“This independent advocate must not be appointed by Court or the NHS but must be provided at the earliest opportunity, when a hospital is first applying to court,” he added, urging that more potent legal representation be assigned to the parents in such cases. He argued that hospitals have immediate access to first class legal assistance, leaving the parents at a disadvantage. By the time adequate legal help is recruited on the parents side, it is often too late: “To ask many judges to simply roll back their opinion after a long fight seems to be too much to ask,” Woolfe added.
Woolfe issued further warnings regarding the court’s prioritization of expert medical opinion over the parent’s wishes. “Any patient is entitled to a second opinion and there should be no obstruction to it,” he argued. “If a court seriously doubts Alfie’s parents lack his best interests on the grounds they are not medical specialists that is a tyranny of experts that every parent must now dread.”
He added that without any proof of “ill intent” shown by the parents toward their child, the court’s continued and unanimous ruling in favor of the medics is “monstrous and sets out a government policy to nationalize our children.”
“To decide specifically that a child is not allowed to be treated by another qualified and willing provider is to subject that child to non-voluntary euthanasia with withdrawal of treatment,” he added.
WATCH: We must continue fighting for Alfie Evans https://t.co/DGHgNhGcGo
— Steven Woolfe MEP (@Steven_Woolfe) April 24, 2018
Woolfe added that it is “shocking” to witness just how marginalized parents have become in the decision-making process over their own child’s welfare.
“It is chilling to see how far the states powers to control our children have come and the power they will use to retain it,” he added. “No one has a monopoly of truth nor the capacity for miracles. Doctors and judges must not confuse themselves with the one above and must not play God.”
“Today Alfie still has a chance,” Woolfe concluded. “The world is watching and cannot understand the lack of humanity in holding Alfie in hospital against his will.”
“FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY LET HIM GO!”
Woolfe announced the proposal outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday.
“Parents are being sidelined in the care of their children, in what are highly complicated moral decisions,” said a spokesman for the policy think tank “Parliament Street,” as reported by LifeSite News.
“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.”
Stephen appeared on Good Morning Britain to further explain some of the injustices faced by the Evans family.
“We had a 21-year-old man, not university educated, no law degree, having to go to the High Court hearing here in London and battle to save [Alfie’s] life against some of the most expensive, well-paid QCs in the country, paid for by the state through the NHS with a whole panel and the justice system in there,” he told the ITV show.
“By having what we believe is an independent advocate, acting for them, not selected by the state but out of a panel of people, they could have somebody on their side from the very beginning.”