Lawyers representing the parents of Alfie Evans have told Faithwire that they have filed one final appeal to the UK’s highest legal body – the Supreme Court – in a desperate effort to get the youngster released from Alder Hey Children’s hospital. This comes after Monday’s Appeals Court ruling that rejected the parents’ request to transfer Alfie to another treatment facility in Italy.
The Supreme Court is aware of the urgency and issued a statement of their own:
The parents of Alfie Evans filed their application to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom earlier this afternoon. They wish to challenge the decision that Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust can withdraw artificial ventilation from their child. The application will be referred to the President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, and two other members of the Court who will form the decision panel.
The hospital and Alfie’s legal guardian (the person who provides the independent voice of the child in court) will then be asked to provide their views.
The Court is aware of the urgency of this matter.
We will provide updates as further information becomes available.
According to the BBC, Lord Justice Davis said doctors had agreed that there was “no hope” for Alfie at this point. Referring to the ongoing legal proceedings, the Judge added: “We cannot have a kind of legal ‘Groundhog Day’ where you come back again and again and again on the same point.”
There is, however, one more throw of the dice available to the grief-stricken parents — they have 24 hours to ask permission directly from the Supreme Court for Alfie’s removal. Legal papers are set to be filed this afternoon by the Evans’ legal representatives, the Christian Legal Centre (CLC). Faithwire spoke to the CLC’s Roger Kiska to get an update on the current situation.
“Habeas corpus liberty cannot be set aside by a judge’s view that it is in Alfie’s interest to die now,” Mr. Kiska told Faithwire Tuesday. The Habeas Corpus Act 1679 was an Act of the UK Parliament that requires the courts to examine the “lawfulness of a prisoner’s detention and thus prevent unlawful or arbitrary imprisonment.”
Mr. Kiska explained to Faithwire that Alfie’s parents should not be prevented from moving their son to another treatment facility.
“Transferring our stable son MAY be a risk???” Tom posted to Facebook after yesterday’s ruling. “THEY SAY I NEED TO FACE REALITY!! I’ve been living through it for 15 months. Me and Kate accept our son is going to die, but when we don’t no, so it’s only our responsibility to let him outlive his remainder with as much dignity love and defection as possible.”
“It’s not over!!!!” he added.
“The next step is going back to the courts,” said Tom’s friend, Liam Sorrell. “We have got to keep on fighting for him, Alfie is fighting so we have to. I’ve been in the room with Alfie and he opens his eyes and looks at you.”
“On this dark day, God sent a beautiful priest to do what any Catholic priest is supposed to do: pray and console,” Ferguson Shelly wrote alongside the image. “Father Gabriele in recent months has followed the story of little Alfie, praying for him and trying to sensitise the faithful and the Church against limiting the right to life of sick children.”
“The concern that brought me here was to see that Alfie had not yet received the sacrament of healing for the sick, that’s why I proposed to do it,” the unnamed priest reportedly said. “I read online that when a journalist asked a Liverpool priest to come, he answered, “it is not my job” so I came. All the circumstances were then favorable to bring me here.”
“If the Church wants to be a mother she must come to the weak, the sick and the least.”
The Catholic Church has played an active role in trying to get Alfie released from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, offering to care for him at a medical center linked to the Vatican.
“I entrust to your prayers persons like Vincent Lambert in France, and little Alfie Evans in England, and [persons] in various countries who live, sometimes for a long time, in a state of serious infirmity, and are medically assisted for their basic needs,” Pope Francis said on Sunday, as reported by LifeSite News.
“They are delicate, very painful and complex situations. Let us pray that every sick person is always respected in his dignity and cared for in a way that is suitable to his condition, with the unanimous support of family members, doctors and other medical professionals, with great respect for life.”