Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Doctors in Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool yesterday removed life support from Alfie Evans, the 23 month old boy suffering from an unknown disease. The doctors argued that life support should be withdrawn for the boy, who has a rare degenerative brain disease and that the biggest part of his brain is damaged leading to a complete lack of functionality of his central nervous system.
In the past few months, his parents made several appeals to prevent this from happening. But on the 20th of April, the UK supreme court dismissed their latest appeal.
However, despite the fact that life support has been removed, Alfie is still breathing. This put into question the insistence to remove life support. Additionally, UK courts have also turned down the request of the parents to take the child to Italy for further hospitalization after the Italian government granted Alfie Italian citizenship following the intervention of the Pope.
This is a wrong decision since the UK is still part of the European Union and the freedom of movement still applies to UK citizens. In another case, the Advocate General Wathelet of the Court of Justice of the EU stated in his opinion that the free movement principle lies above all, even above the principle of maintaining public order and public policy.
ECPM believes that across Europe, vulnerable individuals, like Alfie, require compassionate care and adequate protection. “We are therefore against any effort to prematurely end the life of Alfie” says ECPM MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (DUP). “If the doctors of the hospital in Liverpool are not willing to provide the compassionate care that Alfie needs while he continues to fight for his life, his parents should be allowed to seek further assistance elsewhere. As EU citizens, they currently have the right to seek further medical assistance for Alfie abroad. As parents, they have the right to choose what is in the best interest of their child. As Alfie continues to fight, it becomes clear that the medical prognosis was wrong. Alfie deserves another chance.”