After Alfie Evans breathes on his own, judge again strikes down transfer to Rome

Alfie Evans is held by his mother after his ventilator is removed by the Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool. (Photo via Alfie's Army Facebook page)

London, England, Apr 24, 2018 / 02:59 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Ailing toddler Alfie Evans will not be permitted to fly to Rome for additional treatment, a judge ruled on Tuesday during an emergency hearing.

The emergency hearing came the day after Evans’ life support machine was removed, then oxygen and hydration were readminsitered when the boy survived for several hours, contrary to the prediction of doctors.

Judge Anthony Hayden of the High Court said that this will be the “final chapter in the case of this extraordinary little boy.”

Earlier this week, Evans had been granted Italian citizenship in hopes that this would convince the court to allow him to be sent to Rome to be treated at the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital. The judge, however, ruled that this would not be within his best interest and he would not be allowed to travel to Rome or Munich, where another hospital had offered to treat him. An air ambulance had been at the ready to quickly transport Evans to Italy had the judge approved the transfer.

Instead, Evans will remain at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, or may eventually be permitted to return home with his parents.

Evans is a 23-month-old toddler who is in what physicians have described as a “semi-vegetative state” due to a mysterious degenerative neurological condition that doctors at Alder Hey Hospital have not been able to properly diagnose. He has been hospitalized since December of 2016.

In March, London’s Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s decision to end life support for Evans. Judge Hayden of the High Court ruled that “continued ventilator support is no longer in Alfie’s interests.”

Evans’ parents, Kate James and Tom Evans, had repeatedly made requests to transfer him to the Vatican-linked Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital in Rome, for further diagnosis and treatment.

They said that Evans had recently grown “stronger and more responsive,” noting that he could take a few breaths on his own and was stretching, coughing, swallowing, and yawning. However, Alder Hey Hospital repeatedly refused the transfer, deeming it “futile.”

Until Monday, doctors did not believe that he was capable of breathing on his own, but he surprised his doctors by surviving the night breathing unaided after the removal of his ventilator. According to his father, doctors eventually gave Evans water and supplemental oxygen, but the child has not been given nutrition for nearly a day.

“Coming up to 24 hours (without breathing assistance) and he’s fighting,” said his father, Tom Evans. “Gorgeous features, pink lips, handsome grown up face, an odd cheeky smile now and again.”

Evans’ father traveled to Rome to meet with Pope Francis on April 18. He pled for asylum for his family in Italy, so that his son could be moved.

Pope Francis had offered prayers for Evans and his family several times, including at a general audience and in several Twitter posts.

“Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted,” he said on Twitter Monday.

On April 23, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano and Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti granted citizenship to the toddler, in hopes that being an Italian citizen would allow the child to be transferred to Italy immediately.

Evans’ supporters–who include bishops, members of parliament, and other prominent figures–have dubbed themselves “Alfie’s Army” to spread awareness and to provide encouragement for the family.

In recent days, protesters numbering in the hundreds had swarmed around Alder Hey Hospital, calling on the institution to respect the rights of Evans’ parents and allow him to be transferred.

 

 

19 Comments

    • Get socialized health care. Get no parental rights or bill of rights.
      But most of all, get fearful, lazy Catholic Bishops. Who never get their hands dirty.

    • Welcome to the united kingdom of “North Korea” (not!). Where government bombs are sent abroad to kill innocent people by prime ministers who say they are Christian but are not. Who justify the deaths of many thousands if not millions of people, for crimes they have not committed. The Middle East is a hell hole of suffering caused by the west and I do not expect it to care any more or less for its own.

  1. All I can say is that I hope that one day, the judge and everyone who has persecuted this family, get the same. That what they have done to this family they will experience and then their eyes will be opened perhaps in time to repent.

  2. Thank you “Ranger01”. I too am sickened at the behavior of the Catholic bishops who issued a statement concurring with the decision of the courts. They stand in need of public correction and instruction. “Who will save them …” from their wrongful thinking, which is always followed by wrongful action.

    I understand this case as a tragic case of mercy denied. Mercy denied. Also of category error. This was not about medical authority. This is not about judicial authority, not about positive law of nations. It was about a simple act of mercy; an acknowledgement that we, not matter how exalted we may be, do not know everything.

    The child is understood to be dying. What possible reason can be given to justify refusal of a little more time, that the parents might take comfort in their knowledge that everything possible was done.

    A category error. A tragedy.

    • You don’t get mercy from the state. The state prosecutes and we pay. They “wield the sword” – it is written!! The Bishops had no business agreeing with any court unless the court was meeting out mercy over a death sentence. For the judge in court it was most certainly about upholding authority – the authority of the medical system, even under circumstances where it admits it is at a loss as how to proceed with treatment in a case without diagnosis or known cause. This happens almost all the time in this country (uk), periodic reminders of who’s in charge.

  3. Judge Hayden of England has just proclaimed the end of human dignity in England, and pronounced the new barbaric state.

    Alfie Evans is living now, as he will live forever, in the eternal power of The Lord of Life, whose word of power upholds the universe, including the breath of life in Judge Hayden and the “health providers” of the Alder Hey Hospital.

    May The Lord bless all who stand for the life of Alfie Evans. And may The Lord bless Pope Francis for the help he has given – which seems to have been much.

    And may The Lord punish all of the Bishops of England who committed an act of wickedness in siding with the new barbarism of the totalitarian English state.

  4. Something tells me that if this had happened in the time of JPII – it would NOT have happened.

    In other words – can anyone out there even imagine that The Pope would not have moved Heaven and Earth for this child?

  5. If I were to go into Alfie’s room and shoot him, I would no doubt be arrested and convicted of murder.

    But the judge, the doctors and the hospital staff can do the same thing via another method and it is supposed to be okay?

    • Okay for now, maybe, but – as I said yesterday – there will come the time when they have some explaining to do.

      Along with the Pope.

  6. May The Lord bless Bishop Egan of England, who seems to be the lone pro-Life Bishop of England.

    This episode, and the dramatic one of Vincent Lambert of France, have shown the post-Catholic betrayal of “Cardinal” Paglia (Pope Francis’ appointed head of the late great Pontifical Academy of Life – and made it over into The academy of Death) and the national conferences of Bishops in both England and France.

    There is something extremely alien afoot in this pontificate. Pope Francis is surrounded by Cardinals of his choosing, and Bishops Conferences, that are outright betraying the Catholic duty to defend families and the vulnerable.

    Is this the price we poor people must pay in exchange for “liberal” Bishops realizing their personal political agendas of “heaven on earth”?

  7. I was just reading an article about Cardinal Von Galen, the Lion of Münster, who preached against the Nazi euthanasia program, and found this quotation: “We must expect, therefore, that the poor defenseless patients are, sooner or later, going to be killed. Why? Not because they have committed any offense. . . .but because in the judgment of some official body, on the decision of some committee, they have become “unworthy to live,” because they are classed as “unproductive members of the national community.””

    Someone will need to explain to me how little Alfie’s case differs from those Cardinal von Galen condemned.

    • Leslie the British Health Care apparatus and the legal system are in collusion to institute an ironclad policy of Ending Life Unworthy of Life [The Authorization to End Life Unworthy of Life the 1920 German classic medical psychiatric legal blueprint for the Holocaust] and in doing so resurrect the immoral Nazi policy they fought against during WW II. The Nazis insisted that the murder of undesirables was under the purview of progressive medical care. Adolf desired medical doctors apply the Zyklon B. The principle is the same today when many physicians knowingly increase meds to lethal dosage to unknowing patients and when ethics committees determine the quality of life of a patient who wants to live is the standard for withholding life saving treatment. It’s widespread. In deference to the heroic German Hierarchy WW II so different from today they issued an exhortation to be read from every Catholic pulpit in Germany for July 6 1941 “Never under any circumstances, except in war and justified self-defense, is it permissible to kill an innocent human being” (The Origins of Nazi Genocide, Henry Friedlander, Chapel Hill U of NC Press 1999 pp 114-115).

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