Alfie Evans’ Father Tells Supporters to Back Down

News: World News
by Alexander Slavsky  •  •  April 27, 2018   

Comes as family's chaplain expelled from hospital

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LIVERPOOL, England ( - The father of a sick British infant are calling supporters to "stand down" as the family works with the hospital to take him home.

Tom Evans, the father of Alfie Evans, told "Alfie's Army" Thursday "to return to your everyday lives and allow myself, Kate [Alfie's mother] and Alder Hey [hospital in Liverpool, England] to form a relationship, build a bridge and walk across it."

Alfie's father also thanked the hospital "at every level for their dignity and professionalism," contrary to his insistence the day before that the doctors "hate us" and treat his family "like criminals" and three of Alfie's doctors should be prosecuted for allegedly conspiring to murder his son.

"In Alfie's interests we will work with his treating team on a plan that provides our boy with the dignity and comfort he needs," he affirmed. "From this point onwards there will be no more statements issued or interviews given."

This came as hundreds staged marches and prayer vigils in support of the sick toddler in London, Belfast, Ireland, Washington D.C., Poland, Italy and the Vatican.

Over a hundred supporters also prayed the Rosary for Alfie in front of the British embassy in Warsaw, Poland and crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City for a candlelight prayer vigil on Thursday evening.

Andrzej Duda tweeted his support for Alfie on Wednesday, saying, "Alfie Evans must be saved! His brave little body has proved again that the miracle of life can be stronger than death. Perhaps all that's needed is some good will on the part of decision makers. Alfie, we pray for you and your recovery."

Steven Woolfe, a member of the European Parliament, announced Thursday he is launching the "Alfie's Law" campaign outside the House of Parliament to overturn the law "to bring an end to the tragic situation of parents of young children such as Alfie Evans."

He claimed that parents have "moral rights" to care for their family members while acknowledging the role of doctors and nurses in treating sick children.

Pushing for parents' rights in high profile cases, he continued:

The cases of Charlie Gard, Aysha King and now Alfie Evans, show a dangerous trend of public bodies depriving parents and families of the right to make decisions they believe are in the best interests of their children. Parents' rights should neither be ignored nor dismissed as irrelevant by hospitals and courts, who believe they know best and have the power, money and resources to overwhelm families who simply want to save their child. We demand a change in the law to restore the rights of parents in such decisions.

The parents of Charlie Gard shared their sympathy for Alfie's parents Friday, saying, "it's impossible to understand their pain." The sick British baby died last July after losing his legal battle in the courts for an experimental treatment for his rare genetic disease.

Charlie Gard and his parents

"With heavy hearts, we have watched as Alfie's case has unfolded. For those who have not been in a situation like this, it is impossible to understand the pain Tom and Kate are going through," said Gard's mother, Connie Yates. "When we were fighting for our son, Charlie Gard, to be given a chance to try a treatment that could have improved his quality of life, we reali[z]ed that cases like these would keep happening until the law was changed."

This follows the expulsion of Fr. Gabriele Brusco, Alfie's chaplain, on Thursday from Alder Hey who was sent by Bp. Francesco Cavina of Carpi to give the sick toddler the sacrament of extreme unction.

But Brusco also criticized the hospital for mistreating Alfie and warned staff members about their particular judgment before God on the moral state of their souls.

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool, who refused to travel about four miles to anoint the sick toddler, traveled to Rome Wednesday while his auxiliary bishop, Thomas Williams, met with Brusco and questioned him on his presence at the hospital. However, following the conversation and McMahon's Rome visit, Cdl. Vincent Nichols, the president of the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales, told Brusco to return to his parish in London.

Tom Evans appealed to the pope through the archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon, in a letter on April 15, affirming that he and Evans are baptized Catholics after speculation emerged that he was not Catholic. He said, "I was baptized and confirmed, and I'm looking to you as my shepherd and to the Holy Father as the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth."

He continued, insisting, "That's why I knocked on the Church's door, asking for help in order to save my son from being euthanized! ... So please, Your Excellency, do accept my request for help and bring my voice to the Holy Father."

For those who have not been in a situation like this, it is impossible to understand the pain Tom and Kate are going through.

An internal memo from the archdiocese was leaked on Monday, in which an archdiocesan auxiliary bishop offered support "to doctors and staff" of Alder Hey even though they have "not met with the parents who, it is understood, are not Roman Catholic."

The memo also said the hospital is acting "in the best interests of Alfie" and describes Alder Hey as "a center of excellence" while including statements from the hospital and Liverpool police concerning the recent peaceful protests outside the hospital.

Evans and James' son was born healthy in May 2016 but after missing a number of developmental milestones, Alfie's parents knew something was wrong. In December of that year, the sick toddler suffered a chest infection and was hospitalized for seizures. He has remained on life support at Alder Hey ever since.


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