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Photo: 23-month-old Alfie Evans and his mother. (YouTube)
By Michael W. Chapman, CNSNews, April 24, 2018
The Medical Ethics Alliance condemned the directors of the Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, England, for refusing to allow a 23-month-old child, Alfie Evans, who has a degenerative neurological condition, to travel to Italy for treatment.
The Alder Hey Hospital, funded by the government-run British National Health Service (NHS), said it was “not in Alfie’s best interests” to continue treatment and the child has been taken off of a ventilator. Italy granted the child citizenship on Monday, April 23.
Alfie’s parents want to take him to Italy, and they have fought for months to protect their child from the hospital officials who believe there is no point in sustaining Alfie’s life.
“We are deeply concerned and outraged by the treatment and care offered to Alfie Evans,” said the Medical Ethics Alliance (MEA) in an Apr. 24 statement. “Wanting to withdraw treatment so that he will die, the medical authorities have taken Alfie to the High Court. At that point, and as a result of the hospital’s court action, the parents were stripped of their right to be decision-makers for their beloved child. They could only advise the Court and look on as the High Court made decisions for Alfie.”
“The High Court decided that it was in the ‘Best Interests’ of Alfie to die and duly authorized the withdrawal of treatment,” reads the statement. “As a result, the parents are being tortured as they watch the hospital take actions expected to lead to his death.”
Alfie Evans’ parents traveled to Rome and personally appealed to Pope Francis
to intervene and help their child to travel to Italy for treatment. (YouTube)
“Despite a viable alternative being available (namely transfer by air ambulance for further assessment to a specialist hospital in Rome), the hospital and doctors responsible for his care insist that he remain under their care and on a pathway towards death,” said the Medical Ethics Alliance.
“While he now has some oxygen and some fluid, this has taken huge effort to obtain for him,” the Alliance reported. “He is offered sedation although (we understand) this has not been given at present. Sedation (if given) would mean that he would develop respiratory failure and die even more quickly.”
The Alder Hey Hospital shut off the life-support system for Alfie Evans about 16 hours ago, from this news report, and the child, so far, has been able to breathe on his own, to the surprise of medical staff.
After six hours of being off the ventilator, the Alder Hey staff were morally required to give the child water and oxygen.
Alfie’s parents have been granted an emergency hearing before a high court judge to see if he will grant them permission to take their child to Italy for treatment, reported The Guardian.
Alfie Evans’ father, Tom Evans, speaks to reporters outside Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, England. (YouTube)
“Clearly, the hospital and court believed that by removing life-supporting treatment, he would pass away within minutes, but that proved to be false,” said Roger Kiska, an attorney with Christian Concern who is representing Alfie and his parents, Tom Evans and Kate James.
The actions by the Alder Hey Hospital have brought the facility to “worldwide attention and, by extension,” brought “our whole profession into disrepute,” said the Medical Ethics Alliance.
“Medical tyranny must stop,” said the Alliance. “Poor Alfie must not be killed in this way. We demand that the authorities to allow Alfie safe passage to Rome. With respect we insist that with immediate effect the GMC investigate the actions of doctors providing his care. Surely the doctors should refuse to implement such a tyrannical decision and allow Alfie to go to Rome.”
The MEA, according to its website, is “a coalition of faith-based and Hippocratic medical and nursing bodies which seeks to promote discussion within the medical profession and the general public on ethical aspects of medicine. It looks to the Declaration of Geneva 1948 and the Hippocratic Oath for inspiration.”
Some of the doctors with the MEA who signed the statement concerning Alfie Evans include Dr. Anthony Cole, Dr. Thomas Ward, Dr. Adrian Treloar and Dr. Robert Hardie.
Reportedly, there is a helicopter on standby at the hospital ready to take Alfie to the airport, where he would then go to Italy, if the high court approves his release.