Tom Evans holds his phone showing a picture of his son Alfie as he talks to the media outside the Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, England, on Thursday. (Peter Byrne / PA via AP)
Alfie Evans, a child with a terminal illness whose medical case sparked a high-profile legal battle and international debates over health care and parental rights, died early Saturday, his parents said. parents in social networks.
Pope Francis had been public praying and defending for the 23-month-old boy, and the Italian government offered him child citizenship and created a plan to take the child to a Vatican hospital. But Alfie's doctors, who took him out of life support against the parents' wishes, said he could not be cured and that they should not make the trip. A judge earlier this week sided with his doctors, who said he suffers from a rare and incurable degenerative neurological condition. The court also ruled that the parents could not seek treatment for him elsewhere because further treatment would be against the best interest of the child.
"Our baby grew his wings tonight at 2:30 a.m. We are disconsolate." His father, Thomas Evans, also posted on his personal Facebook page.
My gladiator left his shield and won his wings at 02:30 with a broken heart I LOVE YOU MY GUY
Posted by Thomas Evans on Friday, April 27, 2018  Alfie, who was born in May In 2016, he was admitted for the first time to the Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, England, that year after suffering seizures, and had been patient ever since in what the hospital considered a "semi-vegetative state". This month, Tom Evans met with Pope Francis in Rome and asked the Pontiff to make a trip to Liverpool to see his son.
In a ruling earlier this year, a judge wrote that the Catholic faith of the Evans family should be considered as a factor in ending the best interests of the child, citing Pope Francis who distinguishes euthanasia from the interruption of care excessive, that the Pope has said that "may be legitimate," according to the Wall Street Journal. Catholic bishops in the United Kingdom, reports the Journal, distanced themselves from the treatment offer of the Vatican hospital and praised the Liverpool hospital, stating that "public criticism of their work is unfounded."
British law states that parents "can not demand a treatment should continue where the burden of treatment clearly exceeds the benefits for the child," according to AFP. If an agreement can not be reached between parents and doctors, "a court should be asked to make a statement about whether the provision of life-sustaining treatment would benefit the child." In Alfie's cases, the judges sided with the doctors.  The Pope's tweets about the boy drew attention to his case, which led to comparisons with Charlie Gard, a British baby who died last year despite the struggle of his parents, with the expressed support of Pope Francis and President Trump. . (Trump has not mentioned Alfie's case.) Charlie Gard's parents finally abandoned their struggle to take the baby to the US. UU For an experimental therapy that would prolong his life, saying that there was no real chance of saving him.
Francis has spoken repeatedly about Alfie. "We pray that every sick person will always be respected in their dignity and cared for in a way adapted to their condition, with the concomitant contribution of their families and loved ones, of doctors and other health workers, with great respect for the life, "he said during his Sunday speech on April 15, after mentioning" little Alfie Evans. "
The Pope also presented Alfie's case during Wednesday's general audience. "The only author of life, from its beginning to its natural end, is God," he said. "It is our duty to do everything possible to safeguard life."
The case of Alfie, represented by Christian Legal Center, based in the United Kingdom, has become a subject of great concern to many Christian activists in the United Kingdom and has attracted the attention of conservative media and activists in the United States. . UU The British protesters clashed with police when they tried to enter the hospital by force, and local police issued a warning after the staff was allegedly harassed, saying that social media was being monitored.
The boy was treated said his scans showed "catastrophic degradation of his brain tissue" and that the additional treatment was not only "useless", but also "cruel and inhumane," according to the BBC. The couple fought a four-month battle in the British judicial system, which went to the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
The hospital said in a statement that it consulted with outside physicians, including some in Rome, who concluded that the child's condition was irreversible and intractable. After his death on Saturday, the hospital issued a statement offering his "sympathy and condolences" to the family.
During the legal dispute, the couple had fiercely criticized the hospital, and Thomas Evans described his son as a "prisoner." "On Thursday, however, he thanked the family supporters but asked them to go home so that the parents could establish a relationship with the hospital to give the child" the dignity and comfort he needs. "He thanked the staff from the hospital "on all levels" for their dignity and professionalism during what must also be an incredibly difficult time for them. "