Alfie Evans, a 23-month old boy, suffers from a degenerative nerve disorder which still remains undiagnosed. He has been receiving care at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. Alfie’s parents have been seeking the right to transfer their son to the Vatican’s pediatric hospital, Bambino Gesu.
Britain’ Supreme Court ruling
The Supreme Court did not accept the Evan’s argument that their child is being unlawfully detained in the hospital. In addition, the court also approved the Liverpool hospital’s plan to gradually withdraw treatment.
Implications of the Court’s decision
In view of this decision, Alfie’s parents will not be able to accept the offer of the Vatican’s pediatric hospital Bambino Gesu who offered to transport and provide non-extraordinary care to Alfie for what remains of his life. Because Alder Hey Children’s hospital will withdraw treatment, Alfie’s death may be hastened.
What recourse remains for Alfie’s parents?
In order to pursue their desire to accept Bambino Gesu’s offer to care for their son, Thomas and Kate Evans must appeal for a second time to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. They are arguing that their child is being “unlawfully detained”.
Pope Francis’ mediation
Pope Francis met with Thomas Evans on Wednesday and conveyed his desire to the President of Bambino Gesu hospital through the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, that he wanted her to do everything possible to bring Alfie Evans to Rome for treatment.