Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, England just issued a statement saying it intends to continue with its “end of life plan” for 23-month-old Alfie Evans. The hospital recently won another legal victory against the toddler when Justice Anthony Hayden of the High Court of England confirmed his assessment that it was in Alfie’s “best interest” to die. With “dignity,” of course.
In December 2016, Alfie began having seizures. He was admitted to Alder Hey and spent the next year in the hospital, much of it on ventilator support. Doctors said Alfie had a degenerative brain disorder, but they never made an actual diagnosis or offered anything in the way of treatment.
Last year, Alder Hey filed a lawsuit against Alfie’s parents to permanently remove their son’s ventilator. Since the hospital could not make Alfie better, it argued that it must make him dead. Justice Hayden, a member of The Bar Lesbian and Gay Group (BLAGG) and co-author of Children and Same Sex Families, agreed, saying it would be “inhumane” to allow Alfie to continue to live.
Alfie’s parents fought back. They appealed to the Vatican for help, and even met personally with Pope Francis. The Vatican’s Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome offered to treat Alfie. Alder Hey refused to release the baby and obtained an order from Justice Hayden prohibiting him from being transferred to another hospital.
On April 23, 2018, Alder Hey removed Alfie’s ventilator, per its “end of life plan.”
But Alfie didn’t follow the plan.
He started breathing on his own. The next day, when Alfie got tired and his lips turned blue, the hospital refused to intervene. So Alfie’s mom and dad gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to keep their baby alive.
Alder Hey then removed Alfie’s food and water. After all, the hospital had an “end of life plan” for Alfie that only included one outcome: Alfie’s death. Eventually, the hospital relented and provided an oxygen tube and hydration for comfort. But they remain committed to the plan, which now includes starving Alfie to death.
As I write this, an air ambulance is waiting at Liverpool Airport to transport Alfie to Bambino Gesu. Even in the face of—or maybe because of—Alfie’s odds-defying will to live, Justice Hayden confirmed his refusal to allow baby Alfie to be transferred to another hospital.
We have been in contact with Alfie’s parents and their attorney since early April. Dr. Paul Byrne, who has worked with us in similar cases in the U.S., traveled to England to observe Alfie and review his medical records. Dr. Byrne noted with dismay that Alfie was still receiving oxygen through a narrow endotracheal tube, which is only designed to be used for a few weeks at most, as it is “like breathing through a narrow drinking straw.”
Alfie has needed a minor procedure (tracheostomy) for well over a year to provide an adequate flow of oxygen, but Alder Hey never did the procedure. Why not? Because Alder Hey decided from the beginning that Alfie’s life was not worth saving because it was not worth living.
Watch the above video, which was taken just before Alfie’s oxygen was removed. Alfie is not brain dead. He is not in a coma. He is awake and alert.
And now he is breathing on his own. But that’s not enough for Alder Hey. One way or another, Alfie must be made to comply with the hospital’s plan.
This is not dignity. This is not health care. This has nothing to do with Alfie’s “best interests.” This is MURDER.
Life Legal is committed to doing everything in our power to help Alfie and his parents. At this time, Justice Hayden appears to be resolute in denying Alfie any chance to be transferred out of Alder Hey.
But we will not give up hope. Our team is praying fervently for the hospital to implement a LIFE plan for Alfie, for Justice Hayden to reconsider his order, and of course, for God to heal Alfie’s brain. We also pray for Alfie’s parents and their attorneys who are his tireless advocates.
Normally, I end my emails to you by asking you to stand with us by making a donation to support our work. But today, I ask only that you stand with Alfie by kneeling before the Author of life.