The father of little Alfie Evans, the 23-month-old toddler in England with a degenerative brain condition, has filed for a private prosecution to have three doctors charged with conspiracy to murder if his boy dies while in their care.
As WND reported, Evans’ parents, Tom and Kate Evans, have fought long and hard for many months to prevent his life support from being turned off, and even Pope Francis and Italian authorities have weighed in with their pleas. The baby’s family took their case to an appeals court on Wednesday, and a panel of three court of appeals judges heard arguments about the case in London.
The judges once again ruled that Evans and his family cannot leave the country to seek treatment in Italy.
The ongoing saga has captured worldwide attention, especially in light of Pope Francis’ repeated attempts to convince the courts to release Evans from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and allow him to be transported to the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital for treatment. The current hospital refused to grant the transfer.
On Tuesday, a British judge rejected the desperate family’s plea to transport Evans to Italy for treatment, telling the parents that his ruling “represents the final chapter in the life of this extraordinary little boy.” Before Tuesday’s emergency ruling, the U.K. Supreme Court had ruled that the child should remain at the hospital. The family’s appeal was rejected as “inadmissible” by the European Court of Human Rights.
While medical professionals have been unable to identify Evans’ exact brain condition, they said he remains in a “semi-vegetative state.”
Tom Evans has refused to stop fighting for his boy, telling the media, “Alfie’s still fighting, so I’m still fighting.”
He’s also apparently ready to privately prosecute three doctors if Evans dies, according to London reporter Alan Jenkins.
On Wednesday, Jenkins tweeted: “The court has just heard that Alfie’s dad Tom Evans started a private prosecution to have three doctors charged with conspiracy to murder yesterday. Papers were served on medics.”
Tom Evans posted on Facebook that, if his son dies, “I will instruct lawyers to start private prosecution of every single person who helps to make that happen.”
Evans continued: “You say that to withdraw life support from a sick child is a humane medical act – I say it is murder. You say that using force to prevent me from trying to save his life is no more than upholding the law – I say it is murder. You say you are acting in the best interests of the child. Perhaps King Herod used that phrase, too.
“I will not allow you to kill my son just because a bunch of smug lawyers in London has concluded this would be good for him. If you make my son die tomorrow, you will face justice from a jury of your 12 countrymen in this world, and a terrible judgement of God in the world to come,” the toddler’s father added.
Pope Francis had urged authorities to respect the family’s wishes, saying only God may determine who lives and who dies.
On April 18, the pope met with Tom Evans, who is Catholic, in Rome. Evans asked for the pope’s help in saving their son and requested that the Vatican grant “asylum” to his family. After the meeting, Pope Francis called for prayers for the toddler and said it is “our duty to do everything to preserve life.”
On Monday evening, Pope Francis tweeted: “I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.”
Moved by the prayers and immense solidarity shown little Alfie Evans, I renew my appeal that the suffering of his parents may be heard and that their desire to seek new forms of treatment may be granted.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 23, 2018
The Italian defense ministry had even arranged for an air ambulance to transport Evans to the Vatican hospital if the judge had allowed the family to take their child. The flight is still prepared to depart within minutes of a ruling allowing Evans to leave.
President of the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, Mariella Enoc, told the Express that medical staff have been waiting to get the go-ahead so they can transport the child to Italy as soon as possible.
“We are ready,” Enoc said. “The plane is at Rome Ciampino Airport with the doctors on board. The Italian embassy in England is also looking for an ambulance to take the boy from the hospital to the airport. The airplane, I repeat, is ready to take off at Ciampino. The doctors and the equipment are there. The team is ready.
“We are waiting for a response from the English justice system because even the British government can not intervene,” Enoc continued. “Now I’m in Italy. We arranged all the logistical aspects with the embassy and Palazzo Chigi. Until the moment they tell me that everything is over, I will continue to hope, but while I hope, at the same time I think we will not make it because they do not want to.”
The Italian foreign ministry announced Monday that it had granted little Evans citizenship, which would facilitate the child’s transport and arrival process.
In a Tuesday statement, the Medical Ethics Alliance blasted the British hospital that’s treating Evans, saying “medical tyranny must stop.”
“We are deeply concerned and outraged by the treatment and care offered to Alfie Evans,” the Medical Ethics Alliance said. “Wanting to withdraw treatment so that he will die, the medical authorities have taken Alfie to the High Court. At that point, and as a result of the hospital’s court action, the parents were stripped of their right to be decision-makers for their beloved child. They could only advise the Court and look on as the High Court made decisions for Alfie.
“The High Court decided that it was in the ‘Best Interests’ of Alfie to die and duly authorized the withdrawal of treatment. As a result, the parents are being tortured as they watch the hospital take actions expected to lead to his death.”
Meanwhile, U.K police have warned that they are monitoring citizens’ social media posts about baby Evans. Merseyside Police posted the following message on Facebook Wednesday:
We’ve issued the following statement following reports of social media posts being made in relation to Alder Hey Hospital and the ongoing situation with Alfie Evans:
Chief Inspector Chris Gibson said: “Merseyside Police has been made aware of a number of social media posts which have been made with reference to Alder Hey Hospital and the ongoing situation involving Alfie Evans.
“I would like to make people aware that these posts are being monitored and remind social media users that any offences including malicious communications and threatening behaviour will be investigated and where necessary will be acted upon.
In a similar case last July, British baby Charlie Gard died of a genetic disease after the courts blocked the baby’s parents from transporting him to Italy.