Alfie Evans, a terminally-ill British child, has passed away.
The death followed a legal struggle between the boy’s parents, Kate James and Tom Evans, against the hospital in which Alfie was being treated. A British court ruled in favor of the hospital’s decision to discontinue treating the boy, against his parents’ decision to keep fighting for their child’s life, effectively ending the boy’s life. He was subsequently passed away on Saturday morning.
Alfie’s story garnered international attention, provoking responses from Pope Francis and others around the world. The child became the latest in a horrific trend of children who were taken off of life support against the wishes of his parents.
Per Fox News:
Alfie was born in May 2016. Later that year he suffered a series of seizures and was admitted to a hospital in Liverpool where he has been since, BBC reported.
Alfie developed an incurable degenerative brain condition and was at the center of a legal battle over his treatment.
Medics struggled to precisely identify Alfie’s condition.
Doctors said further treatment was futile and recommended that Alfie be allowed to die, but his parents — backed by the pope and Christian groups — fought for months to take him to a hospital in Italy so he could be kept on life support.
The hospital withdrew Alfie’s life support Monday after a series of court rulings sided with doctors who said continuing Alfie’s treatment was “not in Alfie’s best interests.”
Justice Anthony Hayden, a U.K. judge, said the ruling represented “the final chapter in the life of this extraordinary boy.”
Under British law, courts often intervene when parents and doctors disagree over the treatment of a child, who’s rights often take precedent over the parent’s right to decide what’s best.
I am deeply moved by the death of little Alfie. Today I pray especially for his parents, as God the Father receives him in his tender embrace.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 28, 2018
Saddened to hear of the passing of young Alfie Evans. Karen & I are praying for comfort and peace for his parents, Katie & Tom, during this incredibly difficult time. May God be with them all.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) April 28, 2018
Gov. Palin commented over social media:
Into the arms of our Lord, sweet baby. Your life showed the world what really matters. Our hearts break with your passing.
Little prince Alfie ~ forever protected in your new home in heaven. May wings of every angel wrap you in comfort, peace and joy until your mommy and daddy get to hold you again.
The tragic situation pitted parents in a struggle against the hospital to save their child’s life. “Under British law, courts are asked to intervene when parents and doctors disagree on the treatment of a child. In such cases, the rights of the child take primacy over the parents’ right to decide what’s best for their offspring,” MSN reports. Here’s more:
“My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 02:30,” Evans, 21, said in social media post decorated with a broken heart and crying emojis.
The death came after an easing of tensions between the family and the hospital. Evans had pledged to work with doctors to give his son “dignity and comfort,” as he called for a truce in the divisive case.
“Our lives have been turned upside down by the intense focus on Alfie and his situation,” Evans said Thursday outside Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where Alfie has been treated for more than a year.
He thanked the hospital staff “for their dignity and professionalism during what must be an incredibly difficult time for them too.”
RIP Alfie Evans. Heart breaking news to hear this morning, My thoughts & prayers are with his parents, they did everything they could for this little man 🙏🏽 God rest his soul 💙 pic.twitter.com/lmeKMsoXQr
— Frank Bruno MBE (@frankbrunoboxer) April 28, 2018
RIP Alfie Evans.
My deepest condolences to his parents, who fought so hard for their brave little boy. pic.twitter.com/pKfup3J7bX
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 28, 2018
Heaven has its newest angel. Alfie Evans
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) April 28, 2018
“All of us feel deeply for Alfie, Kate, Tom and his whole family and our thoughts are with them,” the hospital said in a statement. “This has been a devastating journey for them and we would ask that their privacy and the privacy of staff at Alder Hey is respected.”
Little #AlfieEvans lost his fight for life today, but we must continue to fight for Alfie, Charlie Gard, and all the babies, born and unborn. John Locke and Thomas Jefferson both established that our first unalienable right endowed to us by our Creator is Life. #prolife 1/2 pic.twitter.com/SPBA6UzDEn
— Allen West (@AllenWest) April 28, 2018
Alfie Evans has died. The government killed him.
In the U.K., the government bans guns, is trying to ban knives, criminalizes speech, and decides when you die.
This is where America is headed unless good men & good women fight to preserve our freedom.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) April 28, 2018
#AlfieEvans is dead.
U.K socialists have proven that the state will kill children if the parents challenge them.
Democrats want to bring this here with single payer. Never forget that.
If you vote Democrat after this, you’re insane. https://t.co/iS0eLhYLrg
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) April 28, 2018
And, via CBS News:
Alfie’s case received much attention outside Britain, especially in Catholic countries. Pope Francis, who had met with Evans, appealed for the wishes of the boy’s parents to be heeded, saying only God can decide who dies. Italy even granted Alfie citizenship and put a military plane on standby to transport him to Rome if the courts allowed it.
Officials in largely Catholic Poland and Italy have implicitly criticized Britain’s courts and state-run National Health Service on the case.
Supporters prayed for the toddler in St. Peter’s Square to show solidarity with his parents, while in Warsaw people placed candles, teddy bears and notes in front of the British embassy.
Emotions have run high over the case, with supporters staging angry protests regularly outside the hospital, at times trying to storm its entrance.
Alfie’s mother, 20-year-old Kate James, posted that she was heartbroken over Alfie’s death but added, “thank you everyone for all your support.”
Here are some of the tributes left to Alfie Evans outside Alder Hey, after he died in the early hours of this morning pic.twitter.com/7evqZ6Urtr
— Luke Mintz (@lukefromtheecho) April 28, 2018