Who Should Decide the Fate of YourTerminally Ill Child

We have all heard of the tragic case of 23 months old Alfie Evans. Alfie was born in may of 2016 and December 2016 he was admitted to the  Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool England suffering seizures and has been a patient in the hospital until his death April 28 2018

Alfie was diagnosed with a  degenerative neurological condition, which they have not been able to identify definitively.

Alfie’s parents and the hospital were in complete disagreement in what should happen to Alfie who was in a semi vegetated state for almost a year

The problem between Alfie parents  and the Doctors at Alder Hey children hospital started when the Doctors decided to with draw life support from Alfie as the they deemed it useless as there was no hope to cure Alfie and his death was imminent

The Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust went to the High Court to seek a declaration that continued ventilator support was not in Alfie’s best interest in the circumstance it was not lawful that such treatment be continued

Mr Justice Hayden said doctors could stop providing life support for Alfie against his parents’ wishes, saying the child required “peace, quiet and privacy”.

Of course the parents wanted treatment to be continued and wanted to take Alfie to another hospital in Italy the  Bambino Gesu Hospital in Rome in the hope of prolonging his life.whose Doctors thought that they could perform surgery that would help him to live for a undefined period This petition of the parents was denied by the Alder Hey Children hospital

Alfie’s father believed that his son was improving because he responded tho him ant he wanted every thing tried to save his son

But Michael Mylonas QC, representing the hospital, said: “One of the theproblems of this case is Alfie’s parents look at him and, barring the paraphernalia of breathing and feeding, he’s a sweet, lovely, normal-looking boy who opens his eyes, and will smile. The hospital asserted that any movements by the child were “spontaneous seizures as a result of touching”.

Mr Justice Hayden ruled in favor of hospital bosses and doctors were set to withdraw ventilation on February 23 before his parents decided to take legal action

On  March 20, Alfie’s parents appealed to the Supreme Court where justices refuse to give Alfie’s parents permission to  enter another appeal

Alfie’s parents and their lawyers went to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after exhausting all legal avenues in the UK.

But three judges ruled the submission “inadmissible”, saying they were unable to find any violation of human rights.

On April 11, Mr Justice Hayden then endorsed an end-of-life care plan  for Alfie. setting a date to switch off life support. This time the parents of Alfie were represented by a group CLC (Christian legal center) but every appeal on behalf Alfi’s parent was denied Alfie father even went to Rome to meet with  Pope Francis  to plead the Pope intervention in the hopes of saving his son but the ppe,s pitition was turned down.

The Italian Government granted citizenship to enable Alfie to travel to Italy without any problem but this effort was dismissed by the British Courts Mr Justice Hayden who stated that “Alfie is a British citizen” who “falls therefore under the

jurisdiction of the High Court”. Even after all denials to their effort to get their son treatment they did stop trying.

Alfie’s parents then launched a further appeal against the order stopping them from taking him to Italy, which was heard on Wednesday afternoon by a panel of three Court of Appeal judges, headed by Sir Andrew McFarlane.

The judges upheld a ruling preventing the 23-month-old from traveling abroad after life support was withdrawn. Finally Alfie died an April 28 2018.   This leaves me to think Who  should have the right to decide what is the right thing for their child.

As a parent I would want to do everything possible for my child. I know when we see our child suffering we sometimes have difficulty in making the right  decisions because we become too emotional but then who is best to make these heart rending decisions.

One of the dilemmas Alfie’s case raised is whether doctors are the right people to determine if withdrawing life-support treatment is in “the best interests” of a terminally ill child.

One of the key arguments presented by his parents was that they should decide what is best for their son

What do you think  Should the government make this decision or may be a family member. let me know your thoughts leave me a comment

 

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