Alfie Evans could be airlifted to Italy if last-minute appeal succeeds

Frederick Owens
April 25, 2018

Dozens of supporters of Alfie's parents gathered Monday outside Alder Hey hospital, and reacted with anger to the court decision.

Alfie's mother posted a photo to their Facebook group of Alfie sleeping in her arms without life support, writing "no matter what happens he has already proved these doctors lovely does he look".

The boy's parents were granted an emergency hearing, after the his father, Tom Evans, said he was still breathing several hours after being taken off life support.

"When Alfie shows me and his mum any sign of suffering or dying, we will enjoy every last moment with him, but Alfie has not yet shown us he is ready to go, so we continue to fight just as he shows us to", said Evans to Pope Francis.

Mr Justice Hayden described the 23-month-old at the centre of a life support battle as "courageous" and a "warrior", but said the case had now reached its "final chapter", he told a High Court hearing in Manchester. "It can not be in Alfie's best interests to be left in Alder Hey where the court order is to let him die".

An emergency hearing is now scheduled in the high court today as the child's parents seek to try one more time to obtain permission to transfer Alfie to a hospital in Italy.

But Alfie's doctors say he can not be healed, and shouldn't make the trip at all.

Doctors say Alfie is in a "semi-vegetative state" as the result of a degenerative neurological condition that medics have been unable to definitively identify.

Monday night, as they waited through negotiations, Alfie was struggling to get enough oxygen. Doctors treating him at Britain's Alder Hey Children's Hospital say further treatment is futile. Supreme Court justices and European Court of Human Rights judges refused to intervene.

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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. Because Alfie's life support has been disconnected there is essentially no reason for him to stay at the hospital, which is not providing any additional care treatment or experimental treatments for his condition.

The High Court therefore decided his treatment should end.

Roger Kiska, a solicitor for the Christian Legal Centre, who is supporting the parents Tom and Kate Evans, said: "It's been a miraculous evening to say the least". They agreed that life support should be withdrawn but Charlie's parents appealed against the decision.

"We welcome the intervention of the Italian government and are grateful that they stand ready to take Alfie to Italy".

Barrister Paul Diamond, who represents Tom Evans, 21, and Alfie's mother Kate James, 20, confirmed yesterday that Alfie had been granted Italian citizenship in order to qualify for further treatment.

The child, who had been born healthy by all indications, had been taken to the doctor prior to his admittance as he began exhibiting abnormal jerking movements.

Today, a British doctors group, The Medical Ethics Alliance, expressed its horror over the treatment of Alfie Evans that it called a "medical tyranny".

As appeal efforts were unsuccessful, life support was removed on Monday night, but Alfie remains alive, defying expectations.

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