Published: Sun, April 29, 2018
Medical | By Vernon Walton

Parents of Alfie Evans 'heartbroken' after son passes away

Parents of Alfie Evans 'heartbroken' after son passes away

His parents, Kate and Tom Evans announced their son's death on social media.

The heartbroken parents of Alfie Evans say their son died early this morning after a long legal battle to prolong his life. He was 23 months old.

Alfie sadly died on Saturday, less than a week after his life support was removed at the Alder Hey children's hospital in Liverpool. A judge earlier this week sided with his doctors, who said he suffered from a rare and incurable degenerative neurological condition.

The toddler had a rare degenerative brain condition that doctors said left him with nearly no brain function and multiple courts in the United Kingdom legal system ruled that letting him live was not in his best interests.

"My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30", Evans, 21, said in Facebook post decorated with a broken heart and crying emojis. Pope Francis personally met with Thomas Evans.

Lord Sugar tweeted: 'RIP Alfie Evans.

British law states that parents "cannot demand a particular treatment to be continued where the burdens of the treatment clearly outweigh the benefits for the child", Agence France-Presse reported.

The child's parents have launched a public campaign to "save the son" and tried to continue treatment in the clinic of the Vatican.

In a broader sense, Alfie's case is one of many examples illustrating the destruction of parental sovereignty across a range of issues, education and healthcare in particular.

After a series of court rulings sided with the doctors, the doctors took Alfie off life support five days ago and blocked further medical treatment.

Alfie had been taken off life support earlier this week.

Francis has spoken repeatedly about Alfie.

The 23-month-old, who was being treated at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool died at 2.30am, Kate James and Thomas Evans said on Facebook.

Her fate is thus a case study in why a decent society allows families leeway to defy medical consensus: not only for the sake of parental rights and religious beliefs, not only because biases around race and class and faith creep into medical decision-making, but also because in hard cases the official medical consensus often doesn't come close to grasping all the possibilities, and letting people go their own way is often the only way to discover where it's wrong.

"The only master of life, from the beginning to its natural end, is God, and our duty is to do everything to protect life", he said.

It added: "All of us feel deeply for Alfie, Kate, Tom and his whole family and our thoughts are with them". Alfie has spent more than a year in a semi-vegetative state, suffering from a neurodegenerative disease.

The Court of Appeal upheld the decision, while Supreme Court justices and the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene.

The hospital said that further attempts to treat the child are meaningless and, indeed, inhumane. After his death on Saturday, the hospital released a statement offering its "heartfelt sympathy and condolences" to the family.

Tensions between the toddler's parents and the hospital had eased in recent days.

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