Alfie Evans, a British toddler who suffers from a severe neurological disorder, has been off life support since Monday. Alfie’s parents are seeking additional treatment and care in Italy, where Pope Francis and the Vatican had offered refuge from the British National Health Service (NHS).
The NHS and Alder Hey’s hospital medical staff said that Evans’ condition is irreversible and that he should be taken off life support. Evans’ parents and the Vatican are seeking to fly him to Italy to receive palliative treatment, with the Vatican offering a plane and the Italian government granting the child Italian citizenship.
Since being taken off life support Monday, Evans has breathed on his own and has not been fed by the hospital staff. Staff members did hydrate the child, but not much else. His parents appealed the court’s decision to keep Evans in the United Kingdom on the grounds that he is improving and can seek further treatment abroad.
But despite the appeals, the British courts still ruled against Evans and his parents. This situation is similar to last year’s ruling against the parents of Charlie Gard, who suffered from a degenerative condition. In that case, the parents appealed to the courts, to no avail, and despite pleas from the Vatican, Charlie was taken off life support and died at home.
The outcry from the British public and newspapers has pushed the American mainstream media cover Evans’ story. CNN, CBS News and ABC News each published an article about Evans. NBC News did not publish an article on the issue.