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European Parliament Member Introduces ‘Alfie’s Law’

United Kingdom’s Member of the European Parliament Steven Woolfe takes part in a voting session in Strasbourg, France on November 22, 2016. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters)

A member of the European Parliament wants the case of Alfie Evans to be the last in which parents’ wishes for their child’s medical care are smacked down by the state.

“Alfie’s Law,” introduced by Steven Woolfe, a member of the European Union’s legislative body for North West England, would provide parents of children with terminal diseases more say in their child’s care and treatment instead of leaving those decisions up to hospitals and courts.

“The cases of Charlie Gard, Aysha King, and now Alfie Evans, show a dangerous trend of public bodies depriving parents and families of the right to make decisions they believe are in the best interests of their children,” Woolfe said in announcing his support for the law Thursday. “Parents’ rights should neither be ignored nor dismissed as irrelevant by hospitals and courts, who believe they know best and have the power, money, and resources to overwhelm families who simply want to save their child.”

Woolfe supported the parents of 23-month-old Evans, who suffers from a degenerative brain disease, after a court ruled that they would not be allowed to take the toddler to Italy for treatment.

Tom Evans and Kate James presented their case to the Court of Appeal but were denied by Lord Justice McFarlane, who ruled that the best interest of the child was to be taken off life support.

Evans’s life support was removed Monday night, but he has left doctors “gobsmacked,” according to his father, as he continues to breathe on his own.

Supporters around the world have rallied in support for Evans, expressing their dismay at the judge’s decision. Protesters outside the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool tried to storm it as a helicopter waited nearby to take Evans to Italy in case his parents won their appeal.

Tom Evans has since called for supporters to “stand down” after one of the baby’s doctors said the parents would have to change their “attitude” in order to be allowed to take their son home. He had previously said that the hospital staff “hate” them and treat his family “like criminals.”

 

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