Alfie Evans and the Experts

02 May, 2018, 01:42 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • Police stand guard outside Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Purple and blue balloons scattered across the cloudy sky of Liverpool on Saturday as people chanted "Alfie, Alfie, AlfIe".

His mother, Kate James, posted on a Facebook page dedicated to his case, Alfie's Army, "Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2.30am". His father, Tom Evans, also posted on his personal Facebook page. "We are heartbroken. Thank you, everyone, for all your support". The boy from Merseyside, who had a degenerative brain condition, died at 2.30 a.m., his father Tom Evans said. The case has stirred strong emotions both in Britain and overseas, with hundreds of thousands signing petitions supporting him. During that time, he was kept alive by artificial ventilation in the critical care unit.

The toddler had an undiagnosed brain disease that doctors said left him with nearly no brain function, and mulitple courts in the United Kingdom legal system ruled that letting him live was not in his best interests. They lost a final court appeal on Wednesday.

Charlie's parents fought a long and public battle to prolong his life, but bowed to the consensus of medical experts who said there was no realistic chance of saving him: The child had irreversible brain damage.

Hundreds of balloons have been released by supporters of Alfie Evans after his tragic death earlier today. After his death on Saturday, the hospital released a statement offering its "heartfelt sympathy and condolences" to the family.

It added: "All of us feel deeply for Alfie, Kate, Tom and his whole family and our thoughts are with them. This has been a devastating journey for them".

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Pope Francis tweeted Saturday that he was "deeply moved" by Alfie's death.

In a ruling earlier this year, one judge wrote that the Evans family's Catholic faith should be considered as a factor in determining the child's best interests, quoting Pope Francis distinguishing euthanasia from the discontinuance of overzealous care, which the pope has said "can be legitimate", according to the Wall Street Journal.

In a statement posted Thursday on Facebook, Evans thanked hospital staff "at every level for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly hard time for them too".

In February, Mr Justice Hayden ruled that doctors at Alder Hey could stop treating Alfie against the wishes of his parents.

After a series of court cases, doctors at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool removed his life support on Monday, against his parents wishes.

"In hard situations such as these, and amongst the plethora of voices and opinions, it is important that the public know how such decisions are made".

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