I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but I must inform you that Alfie Evans passed away early Saturday morning.
After the hospital removed Alfie’s ventilation, Alfie managed to breathe on his own for a full five days before he tragically passed.
Alfie’s story made waves across the globe. CitizenGOers in Spain, Argentina, Germany, Poland, and Italy held vigils outside of British embassies and elsewhere in support of Alfie and his family. Nearly 300,000 CitizenGOers signed a petition in Alfie defense.
CitizenGOers outside the British Embassies in Poland and Austria
CitizenGOers outside the British Embassy in Spain
The parents of Charlie Gard (the baby who tragically died under similar circumstances last year), Chris Gard and Connie Yates, explained: „For those who have not been in a situation like this, it is impossible to understand the pain Tom and Kate [Alfie’s parents] are going through.“
When Charlie was ill and seeking treatment, Chris and Connie realized that cases like these would keep happening unless the law was changed. There is already a campaign under way, dubbed „Charlie’s Law.“ Although their proposal has not been released in detail, it appears to have two parts:
1. They want the law to give parents more weight in making „best interest“ decisions for their child over the whims of judges.
2. They want to improve mediation between parents and doctors, to create „a platform for transparency and openness so that cases like these can be dealt with before they ever reach the courts.“
Additionally, British MEP Stephen Woolfe has launched his own campaign, known as „Alfie’s Law.“ We hope these groups will combine to be even more effective in their efforts!
We’ll be keeping a close eye on these proposals. A change in the law is desperately needed. We cannot allow what happened to Alfie and Charlie to continue.
Alfie breathing without his ventilator a few days before he died.
What happened to Alfie and his family was wrong on two counts:
1. Alfie Evans‘ life was ended because of his disability. This is clear from the court judgement from Justice Hayden back in February (Alder Hey Hospital v. Evans).
According to the courts‘ interpretation of the Children Act of 1989, a life of permanent disability and dependency, whether long or short, is not worth living. The Justice Hayden „root(ed)“ his opinion in the ethical guidance of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which asserts that, „it is no longer in the child’s best interests to continue (living)“ in those cases „where the severity of the child’s condition is such that it is difficult or impossible for them to derive benefit from continued life.“
In other words, because of his disability the court’s determined that Alfie’s life was not worth living. Therefore, it was declared illegal for his parents to keep him alive.
2. This euthanasia based judgement led to the further injustice that Alfie’s parents were no longer permitted to direct Alfie’s care as they saw fit. They were forbidden from taking him to another hospital in Italy that offered to provide him with care free of charge.
This is why a new law is needed. Our team in the UK will continue working to stop judial and medical teams from deciding that other people’s lives are not worth living.
Alfie and Charlie did not deserve to be treated like this, and neither did their families.
Thank you for all your support.
Caroline Craddock, Greg Jackson, Peter Ainsworth and the entire CitizeGO Team