UPDATE: Britain’s Court of Appeal handed down another setback for the family of terminally ill 23-month-old Alfie Evans, as crowds chanted outside the courtroom “Save Alfie Evans!” in a show of support for the exasperated parents of the young boy on life support. His parents wanted permission to take him out of country (Italy) for medical treatment, and the court blocked it.
They deemed the treatment the parents sought as “wrong and pointless” according to CBS News.
The British children’s hospital that has been treating Alfie Evans has issued another statement doubling down on its refusal to release the toddler to his parents. Alder Hey Children’s Hospital stated that the high court ruling to keep Alfie at the facility has been in agreement with resident clinicians.
“Alfie’s condition is irreversible and untreatable,” the hospital said in its statement. “All treatable conditions have been diagnosed. All the experts agree that it will not assist Alfie to subject him to further tests in order to identify a diagnosis.”
The hospital noted that Alfie’s parents, Tom and Kate, are making “further appropriate representations to the Court of Appeals.” Tom Evans said that he tried to discharge his son from the care of Alder Hey but was prevented from doing so by police who were summoned to the scene. He has said that he could face prosecution if he makes any further attempts to remove Alfie. “If he stays here and dies, he dies, if he goes and he dies at least he has died a hero, trying,” Evans said outside his house Friday, as reported by the BBC.
— 🏥 Alder Hey Children's Hospital (@AlderHey) April 13, 2018
The Christian Legal Centre, a faith-based law firm that is representing Mr. Evans and Ms. James, said its counsel argued “the ancient right of habeas corpus” at the hearing on Wednesday, which clearly “requires a court to show a valid reason for a person’s detention”.
The centre said Mr. Justice Hayden was not able to rule on the issue of parental rights. As a result, Alfie’s parents asked for an urgent appeal, which will be heard on Monday. In the meantime, an appeal court judge has decided that Alfie should continue to receive treatment prior to Monday’s hearing.
Alfie’s parents are determined to transfer him to Rome’s Bambino Gesu Paediatric Hospital, which has links to the Vatican.
Pope Francis has personally tweeted his support for the youngster.
It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard. I am praying for Alfie, for his family and for all who are involved.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 4, 2018
It has been an arduous legal battle for the family thus far: they have lost cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and had their case rejected by the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights. Still, they press on.
Last night, hundreds of people lined the streets near the hospital to support Alfie and bolster Tom and Kate in their desperate attempts to have their son released.
— Radio City News (@RadioCityNews) April 12, 2018
An administrator for the official Alfie Evans Facebook support page has stated that Alfie’s mom Kate has now been removed from the ward by the chief nurse. “KATE HAS DONE NOTHING TO WARRENT BEING STOPPED FROM SEEING HER BABY BOY!” Flo Hoy wrote on the page. “ALFIE NEEDS HIS MUMMY! HOW IS THIS RIGHT?”
A JustGiving page has been set up to assist the family with their finances at this difficult time. So far, over £100,000 (approx $142,000) has been raised.
Continue to pray for the family as their legal fight continues. We will keep you updated.