THE TALON

Who is Alfie Evans?

The toddler whose parents have sparked an international debate over keeping him alive

Alfie+Evans%2C+shown+on+life+support+with+a+ventilator.+
Alfie Evans, shown on life support with a ventilator.

Alfie Evans, shown on life support with a ventilator.

Alfie Evans, shown on life support with a ventilator.

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Alfie Evans has been living in a coma for well over a year, following a mysterious disease which has caused him to miss many developmental milestones. Doctors say that his brain is almost fully eroded, and he requires life support to stay alive. Doctors now consider attempts to save his life fruitless, as the disease and a cure is still unknown. Alfie, born on May 9, 2016, is in a vegetative state with a degenerative neurological condition that has not been definitively diagnosed (some experts believe he might have a mitochondrial condition). After he was admitted to the hospital, his parents were told he wasn’t going to make it. Somehow, despite the odds, he fought the infection and managed to start breathing on his own. However, he caught another chest infection and had to go back on a ventilator when he began having more seizures. Alfie’s parents have consistently fought with the justice system in an attempt to keep their son alive. Alfie’s father has been especially proactive, speaking out and vocalizing his desire to keep his son alive. Alfie’s father, Tom, appears to have religious motivations, citing the 10 commandments in a court case, reminding the court “thou shalt not kill. Alfie’s case even caught the attention of the Pope, who tweeted: “It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard. I am praying for Alfie, for his family and for all who are involved.” Alfie’s father Tom visited the Pope and begged him to save his son, showing how far he will go in attempts to keep his son alive, even in a vegetative state. Attempts to save his life, however, have been unsuccessful, and here’s why:

  • The Court ruled that attempts to keep Alfie alive are inhumane, because he is suffering
  • The Supreme Court agreed that Alfie “could not be saved” and that it would be “unkind” and “futile” to continue treatment
  • Alfie’s father, Tom, said he had been told he could face prison if he removes Alfie from the hospital, adding that there are police officers on the ward to stop him taking his son.
  • Lord Justice Davis ruled that Alfie’s life support must be turned off and told lawyers that doctors had agreed that there was “no hope”

This particular incidence and ruling has sparked the interest of moral and civil activists, who support the parents attempt to keep Alfie alive, despite Doctors being unable to diagnose him, and saying its a lost cause since his brain has already eroded away, putting him in a vegetable state.

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