RIP: Alfie Evans Finally Yields to What the Government Said Was in His 'Best Interest'
In the wee hours of Saturday morning, 23-month-old Alfie Evans yielded up his spirit, after days of fighting on after staff at Alder Hey Children's Hospital removed his ventilator in an act intended to result in his death. The British courts ruled that such a death was in his "best interest."
"Our baby boy grew his wings tonight at 2:30 am. We are heart broken. Thank you everyone for all your support," Kate James, Alfie Evans' mother, shared on Facebook.
"My gladiator lay down his shield and gained his wings at 2:30," Tom Evans, the boy's father, announced on Facebook. He said he and his wife were "absolutely heartbroken," adding, "I LOVE YOU MY GUY."
The tragedy may have been inevitable, but the young boy's death was helped along by the same British court system that prevented the parents of Charlie Gard from taking their terminally ill 11-month-old boy to New York for experimental treatment.
In an Orwellian turn of events, High Court Justice Anthony Hayden ruled that it was "in Alfie's best interest" for him to "conclude his life, as he has lived it, with dignity."
Evans had fallen into a "semi-vegetative state" and had been in the hospital since December 2016. Hospital staff claimed that the doctors determined there was no hope for successful treatment, but a hospital in Rome, Italy, agreed that some further treatment could be done, albeit at a significant risk that Alfie Evans would be damaged by a trip to this hospital.
Tom Evans fought for the right to get his son whatever experimental treatment would be possible, but the British courts struck down his plea, ruling that it was in the "best interest" of Alfie Evans to die.
Even so, when the ventilator was removed on Monday, the young boy did not immediately die as doctors had predicted. Instead, he lingered on long enough to require food and drink through his feeding tube. He only died in the wee hours of Saturday morning, not quite five days after his expected time of death.
British celebrities like Piers Morgan tweeted condolences. "RIP Alfie Evans. My deepest condolences to his parents, who fought so hard for their brave little boy," Morgan tweeted.
Pope Francis added that he was "deeply moved" by Evans' death. "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," the pontiff tweeted.