Physicians' group condemns "medical tyranny" as family appeals to take their son to Rome hospital
Two days after his life support was withdrawn, Alfie Evans continues to cling to life, as his parents make a last-ditch appeal to allow him to be moved from a Liverpool hospital to a Vatican-run hospital in Rome.
Lawyers with the Christian Legal Centre, who are representing 23-month-old Alfie and his family, say the Court of Appeal hearing will take place Wednesday afternoon, reported the BBC. Alfie suffers from an undiagnosed neurological disease and has been hospitalized since 2016.
On Tuesday, a judge ruled that the child could not be taken to Rome’s Bambino Gesù hospital, at one point lashing out at the family’s attorney, calling him a “fanatical and deluded young man.”
Meanwhile, doctors from the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations released a statement condemning Alfie’s treatment by the Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool, and by the British court system.
“The High Court decided that it was in the ‘best interests’ of Alfie to die and duly authorized the withdrawal of treatment. As a result the parents are being tortured as they watch the hospital take actions expected to lead to his death,” read the statement, which also accused the hospital of offering an almost certainly fatal sedative to the child.
The statement, concluded with a plea that Alfie be allowed to travel to Rome:
“Actions such as these have now brought the Alder Hey Hospital to worldwide attention and by extension bring our whole profession into disrepute. Medical tyranny must stop. 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.”
Professor Dr Nikolaus Haas, the head of pediatric cardiology at Munich’s university hospital, testified on behalf of Alfie’s parents, and later told BBC Radio 4 that the case is about grave matters of medical ethics.
Arguing that Alfie should be allowed to be treated in Rome, The Guardian reported that he said, “It is not a question of whether this is medically right or wrong. The question is what is ethical. In Germany, we have learned from our history that there are clearly some things you don’t do to handicapped patients. You have to be supportive.”
Haas added, “I’ve seen the child and I have a lot of experience in pediatric intensive care as well as transferring children with air ambulance around the world. Clearly Alfie would not be disturbed by any form of transport. The next question is which teams would like to care for him. And there are teams worldwide so why can’t you send this child to these teams who would like to support him.”