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New Photo Released of UK Toddler Alfie Evans; European Parliament Member Continues Push for Parental Rights

04-27-2018

An administrator of the "Alfies Army Official" Facebook page posted on Friday a new photo of UK toddler Alfie Evans, sleeping on his hospital bed in Liverpool and still off life support.

Administrator Danielle Hambleton wrote above the photo, "Evening everyone we have a special little fighter who wants to say a massive HELLO to his army".

Alder Hey Children's Hospital took the 23-month-old off life support on Monday with the permission of the High Court, and he continues to fight. 

The online edition of the UK publication, The Mirror, reports Alfie's parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, are still in talks with Alder Hey to try to take the toddler home.

It's unclear where the situation stands legally. CBN News reached out to Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is representing Alfie's father, Tom Evans. She has not yet responded to our inquiry.

Williams did release on Friday a "Statement on Christian Legal Centre's involvement in Alfie Evans case".

"We continue to believe that Alfie is not best served by holding him, against his parents' wishes, in a hospital where he will be allowed to die, when another hospital is willing to offer him ongoing medical care, with minimal risk," she wrote.

"At this difficult time, we ask everyone to respect the privacy of Mr Evans, Ms James and Alfie Evans," Williams continued. "We entrust Alfie to the kindness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the gift of life and the freedom of parents."

Evans and James wanted to fly their son to a Vatican hospital in Rome for treatment. The UK's health system and courts won't allow it.

Meanwhile, Steven Woolfe, Member of the European Parliament, continues his push to change the law in the UK "in favour of parents".

"But this is a situation that could happen to any parent or carer, anywhere in the UK, at any time," he wrote in the UK publication, Independent, on Friday. "Suddenly, your child could be involved in an accident or become gravely ill."

"On top of the shock and trauma, if the hospital chose to cease treatment, you would then face exactly the same legal fight as Alfie's parents, and many before him," Woolfe continued.

"Alfie's father, Tom Evans, a 21-year-old young man, has had to stand up in the High Court and battle to save Alfie's life against some of the most expensive, well-paid QCs (Queen's Counsel, senior lawyers) in the country, paid for by the state through the NHS," he went on to say. "How can that be right? It isn't. The law must change."

Woolfe wrote "Alfie's Law" would include safeguards to protect the rights of parents.

"Alfie's Law would give the right for a second opinion from a parent-chosen healthcare professional who is independent of the NHS, and would force the courts to give this medical opinion equal weight," he said.

At the end of Woolfe's article, Independent wrote that Samantha Batt-Rawden, an intensive care doctor, wrote an opposing view article for the publication. She has a child who survived after being critically ill and spending months in intensive care.

"As an intensive care doctor, I know how difficult and heartbreaking Alfie's case will have been for the medical team treating him," she wrote.

"The doctors looking after him will have agonised over the decision to withdraw life-sustaining treatment," Batt-Rawden went on to say. "It will have kept them up at night, and they will have drawn on all their expertise and experience to offer Alfie any hope of recovery he has."

"Now they will do what they feel is best for Alfie, to keep him comfortable and allow him to die with dignity." she continued.

In February, Mr. Justice Hayden of the High Court ruled that whatever was causing Alfie's condition, the damage to the toddler's brain was so severe that it was in his best interest to be taken off life support. 

Will Maule, a reporter for the media outlet, Faithwire, also weighed in on the debate over parental rights in the UK.

"Many had hoped that outside pressure (from EU, Vatican, foreign governments) would have an impact on the key decisions in this case," Maule wrote Thursday in an email to CBN News

"But the Supreme Court has been clear: UK law is final when it comes to the welfare of a child who is in the care of the National Health Service (NHS)," he continued. 

"The courts have set a legal precedent and have refused to engage with the public scrutiny over its assertions regarding the sanctity of life," Maule wrote. "This is concerning for the future and surely requires further public discourse/clarification."

Maule went on to write that politicians and faith leaders based in the UK have been noticeably silent on Alfie's situation. He said their silence "has been deafening."

"I am familiar with many Christian politicians over here - and there has been absolutely no outrage whatsoever," he wrote. "This is desperately sad, not to mention highly concerning."

"The whole case must bring up questions over how the UK government is to legislate on end-of-life care and in what instance the parent's rights should be referred to (i.e. in the case of a child who cannot speak for themselves)," Maule continued.

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